This new article will show you everything you need to know about how to meet deadlines and work under pressure.
For many of us, meeting deadlines in the workplace can be challenging. Nothing makes us more worried, afraid and stressed than the tight deadlines we have to meet. The impending final date of a task that hangs over us like the sword of Damocles can make us psychologically and physically unbalanced.
Constant deadline pressure can lead to mistakes, worse quality of work, lack of creativity, sleep problems, depressive states or burnout.
However, with the right way of thinking, combined with good work organisation and time management skills, you have the power and strength to overcome even the most horrible deadlines.
How to work under pressure? Here are some tips that can help you effectively deal with tight deadlines.
How To Meet Deadlines And Work Under Pressure:
1. Change your attitude
First of all, you have to be honest with yourself. There is no point in denying reality. Do not expect that the deadlines will be postponed, miraculously disappear or time will stop, so that you can finish everything you have to do.
Acceptance is the first step that can help you cope with the upcoming deadline. No matter how impossible it may seem. Despite the enormous pressure, we should accept that appointments are inevitable. In some cases, they are non-negotiable and must be met.
The right attitude is very important, because it determines how we approach the task. The longer you postpone and think about when to start, the harder it is to start and move.
You have to accept that the only way to meet the deadline is to get to work. Complete what we have to do and deliver concrete results on a set date and at a set time.
2. Stay calm under pressure
Once you accept the fact that you have to meet the deadline, you have to stay calm despite the pressure of time. You may be surprised how much you can do in a short time, when you are “cold-blooded” and manage stress that can negatively affect your ability and clarity of mind.
Panic and worry will waste your time and energy unnecessarily. And yet you can make better use of these valuable resources, first of all to do what we have to do.
3. Split larger tasks into smaller ones
When we have little time to meet the deadline, the task we have to perform may seem even more overwhelming and almost impossible to complete.
A good way to deal with this is to divide a larger task or project that we carry out into a series of small, workable tasks. For each such task we set a deadline. This simple procedure will allow you to stay on track to complete the whole project on time, reduce stress and the likelihood of burnout.
4. Take the first step
Once the whole project has been broken down into small, achievable “milestones”, the only way forward is to take action. Focus on the first task and do it.
Taking the first step will give you the impetus you need to complete the whole project. The first results will give you a sense of satisfaction, motivation and success. This will make you more willing to continue and complete the remaining tasks (1).
5. Set priorities and release your schedule
Skillful time management is a key factor in meeting deadlines. Time passes inexorably and unfortunately it is not on our side. So it’s wise to review your schedule and try to postpone or remove less important tasks.
Perhaps, for example, a visit to a hairdresser or a car workshop can be postponed while you focus on your work. You should try to save as much time as possible in our calendar and allocate it to complete the task on time.
Everything is a matter of priority. First, do the most important things that give you the most value.
6. Share your work with others
We don’t always have to do everything ourselves. Sharing work is another life-saving tip, especially when you want to save time and energy while maintaining a high quality of work.
Delegating some tasks and getting help from others is one of the proven ways to meet the deadline. Sometimes you will have to pay for such help, e.g. by buying a service from someone else.
However, this is often a small price to pay in relation to the time we can save by doing so, and the benefits we will gain from meeting the deadline and completing our project.
One of the best ways to get the job done on time is to focus only on the task we have to do. Working in silence and focus, getting away from others and eliminating distractions have a positive effect on productivity. It’s very easy to get distracted when you’re surrounded by things unrelated to work.
Noisy workplaces, colleagues talking, emails, unnecessary office meetings, desk clutter or your smartphone are very distracting and can slow you down. Completing a task requires more time when we’re distracted from work.
We also get less accurate and make mistakes more often. That’s because it’s mentally exhausting to focus again after you stop working.
Try to eliminate any distractions and concentrate on what you have to do.
8. Be organised
Organisational skills are crucial if your goal is to deliver high quality work in a short time. Invest some time in planning before you start the task.
Think about the resources needed, gather the necessary information, set priorities. Pay special attention to tasks that depend on other people’s actions.
Without their input you may not complete your task on time. Set what, who and when should do to meet the deadline. Monitor the progress (2) and quality of each task on an ongoing basis.
Invest in a good planner, calendar or applications for task management and communication. Learn to use them effectively to be more organized and better control your time.
When you set deadlines for individual tasks, make sure they are not too far away. When performing tasks, the length of work is often extended to fill the time available to complete them.
When we have little time, we often act more effectively and give concerts on the most important aspects of the task.
In almost all situations and projects, communication is a key success factor. No problem is too big or too small to be shared and to seek an effective solution together.
If you have a problem or a challenge that may make it difficult to meet the deadline, it is worth considering informing people who may be affected by it, e.g. your boss or client.
This may help to take appropriate actions in advance and to plan further steps in this situation. This is better than hiding problems, keeping silent until the deadline or sending a message of unfinished or poor quality work.
10. Learn from your mistakes and draw conclusions for the future
If you made it and met the deadline – bravo! After a job well done it is worth to appreciate your success and make yourself some pleasure. This will create a “well done job on time” = “reward! :)”.
In addition to celebrating success and the reward for effort, take a few minutes to think about what has worked and what can be done better in the future.
Perhaps you made a mistake somewhere, which it is better to avoid next time. Formulate conclusions and make changes that will help you to operate even more effectively and keep deadlines for future projects.
If for some reason you didn’t meet the deadline, don’t break down. Think about what didn’t work and how you can prevent it from happening again. Contact the person who is waiting for the results of your work, clarify the situation and try to agree on a new date.
If you get a second chance, be responsible and don’t repeat the same mistake again. You may not get another chance to improve. To increase your chances of meeting the deadline, follow these guidelines.
Here’s how you’ve learned how to meet your deadline more often. The ability to cope with tight deadlines while delivering high quality work depends on synergy between mental attitude, organisational skills and effective management of available time.
As a last resort, working longer than usual may also be an option to meet a tight deadline.
In such a situation it is worthwhile to ensure a sufficient number of hours of rest and regeneration. Working continuously with time, our effectiveness decreases.
However, instead of exposing ourselves to stress, taking the nights off and doing everything at the last minute, it is better to plan what we should do. Immediately start working, concentrate and complete the task in the assumed time.
The key to success is a bit of sacrifice and smart work.
Thank you for reading this article about how to meet deadlines and work under pressure and I really hope that you take action my advice.
I wish you good luck and I hope its contents have been a good help to you.