Deadlines are not just stressful; they are important too. While most people would rather do without deadlines because of the pressure they put on an individual, they are necessary in getting certain tasks done. If you have recently gotten into an environment that comes with a lot of deadlines, it can be overwhelming trying to work your way around tight timelines. There are some simple but extremely useful tips that beginners can use when managing deadlines.
- Start your day early
If you know you have a deadline to beat, having an early start to your day will give you much more room to complete your task. It does not mean that you should now lose out on your sleep, rather it means you should aim at being up earlier than is your norm. The additional time will come in handy in ensuring that you get the job done on time.
- Build momentum gradually
Do not jump right into the huge tasks right away after getting out of bed, unless you feel like you can manage it. The best way to build momentum is to start small, by working on associated tasks, and then move towards the huger blocks of work. By associated tasks, it means if you have writing, programming and maybe design tasks, you should work on similar tasks together instead of jumping from one to the other randomly.
- Avoid last minute scrambling
Most people wait until the last minute to perform their tasks because they believe they work best under pressure. The downside of waiting until the last minute is that you might have to compromise on quality since you are out of time. However attractive the eleventh hour rush seems to you, do your best to avoid it.
- Be reasonable about your deadlines
The dream might be to get everything done in the shortest time possible, but is this really an attainable dream? You have to be reasonable when determining your deadlines, otherwise you will be frustrated when you run out of time. If a task takes three days to complete, do not schedule it for a day and expect to get it done. This simply will not work.
So you have about ten things that need to get done, but are they all important? Usually, it is best to pick about the three most important tasks you need to get done in a day. After they are all completed, what you do after that with your time is within your discretion.
- Get started
Deadlines can put such pressure on you that you feel intimidated and unable to get started on even the simplest task. The trick is to take the leap and start. If you are writing an essay, open that blank document and allow yourself to stare at it for a few minutes. Before you know it, the first sentence will come to life and a few hours down the line you will have a completed essay awaiting review. Don’t wait, start.
Last but not least, if you are working towards a deadline as a team, make sure you communicate this to the rest of the team clearly and in good time.
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