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Three Simple Rules For Managing Deadlines

Urgency Bias

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. 

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Three Simple Rules For Managing Deadlines

Three Simple Rules For Managing Deadlines

https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbescommunicationscouncil/2019/04/01/three-simple-rules-for-managing-deadlines/

forbes.com

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Key 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 available for its completion.” 

We often procrastinate if we do not set deadlines, especially if the expectations of difficulty and importance are unclear.

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.

Self-Imposed Vs External

study on procrastination and deadlines found that some people may be able to set their own deadlines and stick to them, but when deadlines are set externally, we are often better at keeping them.

Prioritize deadlines

 ... based on importance, not time. 

Prioritize your projects based on importance first, and your employees will use Parkinson’s Law and urgency bias to their best advantage. 

If a project has low importance, set it a bit farther out.

Communicate consequences and payoffs

Mention the impact and positive results of completing the assignment. Employees will have more meaning and purpose to overcome procrastination.

Cultivate trust

Employees will be more motivated into staying on top of deadlines if managers set a good example by being consistent, supportive and trustworthy.  

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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.

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 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.

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Single Task

Switching between tasks can have damaging costs to our work and productivity.

Develop the habit of single-tasking by forcing your brain to concentrate on one task and one task only. Put your phone away, close all the browser windows and apps that you don’t need. Immerse yourself in this task. Only move to the next one when you’re done.

Brian Tracy
Brian Tracy

Time management is not a peripheral activity or skill. It is the core skill upon which everything else in life depends.” 

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