đź—“

Managing Deadlines

32 STASHED IDEAS

Cristian  (@cristian510) - Profile Photo

@cristian510

⏰

Time Management

Make Them Urgent

It’s easy to procrastinate when you have all the time in the world to complete a task.  

Schedule your deadlines as close to the present as possible. You will be more driven throughout the process.

We do not all solve a problem in the same way. People usually fall into one of these 4 categories: 

  • Prioritizers and planners like to work based on how much time each part of a task will take.
  • Arrangers focus on how they’re feeling.
  • Visualizers are motivated by considering the big picture.

When your tasks feel overwhelming, it can be difficult to start.

Break down your projects into smaller, actionable steps. Identify one chunk that you could work on in a 10-minute segment to help you get started.

Tell someone about your deadline or use an app. 

Having an outside motivator helps to keep you accountable to your deadlines.

Writing down the deadline

It is important to write down your deadlines on a calendar that you can see on a daily basis. Review your calendar each day to ensure that you do not miss any of them.

If you have a deadline, research your options ahead of time before finalizing that deadline. It may take you longer to complete a project than initially anticipated.

Procrastination is often due to the lack of motivation to complete the project. 

Offer yourself a reward for working on the project consistently or for when you finish the project.

Set deadlines that are realistic so that you do not feel pressured to rush. Rushing is not a good way to accomplish any task successfully.

Too many deadlines

... can leave you stressed out beyond your max.  

Create achievable deadlines. If you've got too many deadlines, either choose a different deadline for some tasks or see if you can delegate them.

If your deadline is set too far in the future, you might not really find the motivation to work consistently on meeting that deadline. 

Instead, break that deadline down into smaller tasks. 

Take your project and break it into smaller steps. Mark each deadline until the final project is done. 

Tacking projects in bite-size bits is much more attainable and keeps your momentum going.

Sometimes we set an unmanageable deadline on something that really just needs time and some consistency. For example, trying to lose 20 pounds in a month might not be feasible.

Not understanding what is involved

Take a few days to consider what you want to accomplish within your deadline.  

You may forget something important if you just rush into setting that deadline. 

If you set the same deadlines that worked for others, you could be setting yourself up for failure. 

Be confident that you can set your own deadlines that will work for you.

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.

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. 

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
A 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.
 ... 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.

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

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

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.

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.

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. 

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. 

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.

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 deadlines out will give a sense of moving forward, which can motivate you to complete the task.

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.

If you lack motivation and don't manage to meet your deadlines, try to set a more pressing deadline for yourself. This will give you a sense of urgency to complete the task.

Share your goals and progress

While we recognize our own procrastination and try to curb it via self-imposed deadlines, these aren't always as effective as deadlines set for them by others.

If you don't have a boss or project sponsor who's setting deadlines for you, it might be worth asking someone to become your accountability partner.

It is naturally harder for us to concentrate on a task or measure progress on a project when we're bored.

To overcome this, turn the task into a game and include rewards, to make it more fun and motivating. 

© Brainstash, Inc

AboutCuratorsJobsPress KitTopicsTerms of ServicePrivacy PolicySitemap