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Five Lessons On Managing My Deadlines

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/246422

entrepreneur.com

Five Lessons On Managing My Deadlines
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. You're reading Entrepreneur Middle East, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media. I have a love and hate relationship with deadlines. Often, it's a motivator to get excellent work done, sometimes it instills the fear that keeps me up at night- not finishing on time or worse, not having anything to submit at all.

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Start right away

Start right away

We get so caught up in researching and thinking about a project that the anxiety to create something great can build up. 

Start immediately. You can even make small amounts of progress every day. Eventually you’ll get there.

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Focus

If you have a few projects at a time, focus on one. Work with intense focus. Do not allow distractions.

When you feel your motivation slows down, switch to another project.

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Prioritize

If we are just ticking things off our to-do list without any order, the important tasks may not get completed.

Determine the urgency of your tasks to figure out which requires priority. 

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Set a buffer

Plans rarely go as smoothly as planned, so it’s always wise to set a buffer time in place. 

Break down the project into smaller tasks and before the deadline, schedule a day or two to give yourself a breather to review your project, to allow for delays or last-minute changes. 

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Feedback

Don’t be afraid to seek progress feedback from your teammates, boss or even clients. 

It’s better to know beforehand you’re not on the right track, rather than finding out at the end that you’ve gotten it wrong.

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Setting your own deadlines

Create artificial deadlines for yourself. Understand that you can save yourself a load of stress by acting as if something is due earlier than it actually is.

Mentally, this creat...

Leveraging help

If you are worried others will view you as inept if you ask for help, you most likely will procrastinate, and even more pressure will build up, as the deadline rapidly approaches. 

You can reduce this by leaving your ego at the door and simply asking others for help. Another way to get help from others is to ask for an extension - it can make a world of difference in the way you feel. But don't abuse this. 

Get used to the problem

When you are first confronted with a problem, it can all seem daunting. Don't dive right in. 

Take a break, go for a walk, ask for some time to think things over, close your eyes for 10 ...

Define the problem

Ask people to explain it to you a few times. Keep asking questions to really get to the root of the problem. 

Then go ahead and explain the problem to someone else, just to make sure you really understand it. Often times, simply formulating the problem and explaining it to others can help you understand it better. And that is the first crucial step to solving a problem.

Put things into perspective

No matter how awful your situation may be, rest assured that someone else has been through the same thing. 

It is important to realize how your situation compares to the rest of what you are doing, and how bad it really is compared to all the good things in your life. 

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Set multiple deadlines

A way to create less stressful deadlines is to break large projects into smaller tasks. Set a deadline for each task instead of just one final deadline. 

Regularly spacing the deadlin...

Yerkes-Dodson law

The Yerkes-Dodson law states that the more mental arousal there is in doing a task, the more efficient a person becomes. After you get to a certain threshold, your performance begins to decrease.

An appropriate quantity of stress should inspire increased productivity.

Your ideal stress level

Difficult tasks require low levels of stress, while easy tasks require high levels of stress to trigger mental arousal.

The next time you set a deadline, try placing a rush deadline for easier tasks and set your deadline far out for more difficult projects.