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Five Lessons On Managing My Deadlines

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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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

Five Lessons On Managing My Deadlines

Five Lessons On Managing My Deadlines

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

entrepreneur.com

5

Key Ideas

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.

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.

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. 

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. 

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. 

3 more ideas

Don't waste valuable energy
Don't waste valuable energy

We can't waste valuable energy on mindless activities while putting off what matters most for later.

In business, wasting energy means working on low-value tasks, and thinking b...

Cut out the optional

Being overwhelmed may be the new normal, but taking on too many responsibilities may be watering down our overall impact.

Bring back your focus to what matters most. Work on the projects that are the real game-changers. Delegate the discretionary work and eliminate unnecessary meetings.

Design an action plan

Running a thriving business means understanding how to organize your work by importance and knowing when to delegate.

  • Find your sweet spot. When you consider taking on a project, see if it aligns with your purpose and the organization's broader goals. Ask yourself if you're the right person with the right skillset.
  • Automate. As your company grows, use automation tools for low-level work. It also allows your employees to make more meaningful contributions.
  • Set boundaries. Learn to say no to low-level tasks. Set your own limits about what you'll take on.

one more idea

Urgent Vs Important

A lot of people make the mistake of turning down important work due to urgent work that comes up suddenly.

A task requiring immediate attention is an urgent task, whereas important tasks are ...

Time-Wasting Tasks

Some tasks are neither urgent nor important, but as these time-wasting tasks are in front of us, we end up consuming our time with them. These include:

  • Browsing social media
  • Reading junk articles and posts
  • Playing distracting games.
Avoiding Urgent Tasks

Urgent tasks are the ones that are not adding any value but come up to be done at that moment. The right approach is to avoid the urgent and focus on the important.

Example: Answering a phone call can seem urgent, due to its ringing, but it may not be that important.

2 more ideas

Procrastination Paradox
The more time we are given to complete a task, the longer we will take to do it. 

This is similar to Parkinson’s Law, which states that “work expands so as to fill the time availab...

Urgency Bias

When we are facing multiple deadlines, we often tend to focus on the tasks in front of us rather than the ones that seem far off, regardless of how important they might be. 

Planning Fallacy
The farther away a deadline, the more unrealistic and abstracted our planning becomes. The closer a deadline, the more focussed and productive we become.

4 more ideas

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.

3 more ideas

Tailor your to-do lists

Use the 1-3-5 rule when putting together her daily to-do list.

On any give...
Build good habits in two minutes

The “two-minute rule”  has two parts.

First, if something takes less than two minutes, do it now. Next, start building new habits for two minutes at a time. The rule for this is: When you start a new habit, it should take less than two minutes to do. The idea is to make your habits as easy to start as possible. 

Think of these “two-minute habits” as gateway habits that will lead to your overarching goal.

Complete tasks in batches

It takes time to get into a rhythm to work on a task. Instead of constantly starting and stopping that process, it’s better to keep your rhythm going by bundling similar tasks together.

By doing this, you avoid interruptions and prevents himself from procrastinating.

3 more ideas

Keep yourself accountable

Making a commitment to yourself helps keep you accountable. 

Write your goals down, keep a to-do list with you, and create reminders on your phone and on your calendar.

Make yourself accountable to others
  • Tell everyone what you plan to do and talk about your goals. Tell friends, employees, and employers your intentions and you won’t want to let them down. 
  • Start documenting and sharing your journey. A blog or vlog where you share the projects you’re working on and your progress will encourage you to get things done. 
Cut out temptations

If you’re a chronic procrastinator and simply can’t resist the temptations of things like Facebook and Youtube, it might be time to cut out temptations.

There are tools such as Rescue Time, SelfControl and Focus that will temporarily block access to distracting websites like Facebook. Less aggressive tools such as Facebook Newsfeed Eradicator and Distraction Free Youtube will allow you to have access to Facebook and Youtube but block the distracting parts of these websites (such as the newsfeed).

5 more ideas

Over-scheduling doesn’t work

it leads us to starve for more time to do everything we need to do. As a consequence, we begin to:

  • Hate the things that we used to enjoy.
  • Miss out on quality time with ...
Scheduling fewer tasks
People who schedule fewer tasks get more done. It forces you to prioritize what’s most important.

Also, scheduling back-to-back items in your calendar doesn’t account for the unexpected. Emergencies will always pop up and if your calendar is packed too tightly, you won’t have the flexibility to handle a crisis without completely trashing your calendar for the foreseeable future.

Say “yes” to less

Instead of accepting every invite or request for help, be more selective so that you’re not spreading yourself too thin. 

The easiest way to do this is by only saying “yes” to the things that excite you or that serve a purpose.

3 more ideas

Unleash Latent Potential

It is normal for a mentee to fear showing what he is capable of, that's why the mentor's job is to help his mentee break the rock that hinders him in showing his potential

It is...

Dos and Don'ts for Mentor and Mentee

The mentor should..

  • make sure that his mentee is being able to follow what's going on.
  • understand that all mentees are not the same.
  • guide the mentees to arrive at a solution.
  • not discourage his mentee with frequent negative feedback.
  • help with removing fear.

The mentee should..

  • not expect mentors to be solution providers.
  • do his best to learn and maximize his potential.
  • be open to negative feedback and improve himself.