Deadlines are a critical component for many businesses, as they help ensure that all projects are completed in a successful and timely manner. Whether you are the type of employee who thrives under the pressure of a deadline or who is methodical in taking baby steps to get a project done, everyone can benefit from these hot tips for deadline management.
One of the key initiators of deadline failure stems from a lack of clarity of when something is actually due. If a deadline is unclear on a project, we highly recommend reaching out to a supervisor or the client to verify the deadline, so there is no confusion.
Whether you work on one project at a time or juggle multiple projects at once, it is vital to have a master to-do list for deadline management. This master to-do list should include all short-term and long-term tasks, project milestones, and due dates.
With your master to-do list, you can break down each task into time segments, which we recommend range from 15 minutes to 1 hour at a time. You will want to break down the entirety of your project(s) into manageable bite-sized time chunks that you can place in a calendar and follow for deadline management.
When working on projects, there are often critical and non-critical tasks. Of course, you will want to prioritize the essential tasks first and the non-critical tasks afterward.
However, please keep in mind that projects with long-term goals may not seem like a priority on any given day, but building them slowly over time is key. Therefore, you may want to schedule 15 or 30 minutes a day to work on that long-term goal so it doesn’t become a last-minute problem.
Another contributor to deadline failure is a lack of necessary materials. After you have pieced out your projects, we recommend investigating what materials you will need at each stage. If you do not have the proper tools, you will need to reach out and obtain those tools in advance so that supplier has plenty of time to prepare them for you without impacting your deadlines.
There will be days when you are pumping out tasks like a hero and days when you are a slug. Hopefully, they balance out, but you should keep track of your progress. If you notice that you are behind on a project, no matter the reason, it is vital to take action to remedy that. It may mean re-prioritizing tasks, working a couple of extra hours, getting help from a teammate, or reaching out to the client to notify them of delays.
Distractions are killers for deadline management. We recommend finding methods of distraction minimization, such as putting in headphones, removing unnecessary meetings, or putting a sign on the door saying, “Do Not Disturb.”
Unfortunately, excellent deadline management can become corrupted by factors outside your control. Therefore, we recommend giving yourself wiggle room to adapt to changing requirements or circumstances. To do this, we advise giving yourself fluff space at the end of the project just in case something pops up.
Would you like to learn more tricks of the trade? Check out our blog to read helpful tips to become the best employee you can be!