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How to Work More Efficiently and Stop Rushing to Meet Deadlines

How to Work More Efficiently and Stop Rushing to Meet Deadlines

Are you one of those people who is always rushing behind time to meet their deadlines and get their work done? Well, if such is the case with you then this article is meant exactly for you.

If you are always running late with your deadlines and out of time to get a job done, have you ever stopped to consider that perhaps something is wrong with your efficiency? Or maybe, it could be your time management skills which are putting you behind the clock and always making you late for your deadlines.

This article will get you some practical tips on how to work more efficiently.

Why Is It Important to Become More Efficient and Meet Deadlines on Time?

Being unproductive can counter satisfaction and life goals in the long run. Before you even realise it, you will find yourself struggling to attain basic happiness in life and you will find yourself engaged in a never ending web of pending jobs.

Hence, in order to remain competitive at your work place and be regarded as a valued human resource of your organization, it might be a good idea to pull up your socks and stop rushing to meet deadlines each time.

Here are some tips that will help you improve your game and become a more enthusiastic person in life, who manages to meet his deadlines and remain a productive person:

1. Identify and eliminate all unproductive jobs from your schedule

This could mean that you need to shut down your phone while you are working or that you need to give up your Netflix subscription or anything else.

Only you can define what is it that takes away your attention and time while you are working. It is in your good to identify them at the earliest and get rid of them.

Social media is one of the major areas which distracts many people. If that is the case with you, find ways to keep yourself off the sites and devote your time to work instead.

2. Start by setting up small deadlines for yourself

Meeting a bigger deadline with a huge work load might be tricky when you are trying to bring yourself on track. Instead, give yourself short term goals such as, ‘I am not going to use my phone for social media browsing for the next one hour’.

Stick to these goals and find yourself at a happier place when you meet them. Slowly, this will put you in a habit to meet your goals and prepare you to meet the bigger goals as well.

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3. Identify jobs that can be delegated

Delegate works to others and free up your time to attend important tasks that only you can perform:

How to Delegate Work (the Definitive Guide for Successful Leaders)

4. Upgrade your skill set

Upgrade your skill set to acquire knowledge and talent that will help you stand out from the rest of your fleet. This will help you perform your work with excellence and meet your targets on time.

5. Start by doing jobs that need to be done first

This will keep your work on track and avoid the last minute rush to get the important jobs done.

6. Prioritzse your work

Attend those jobs first which require your attention immediately and save the remaining jobs for later in the day. This will help you stay updated with your task list and attend to priority jobs first.

You will find that your schedule gradually eases up as you get your jobs done one by one. This will also free up your time for attending other jobs, which are not as important in nature.

9 Useful Tactics to Tackle Deadlines And Work Efficiently

No matter what their profession might be, every person struggles to meet deadlines at one or more times in their work careers. Deadlines tend to create an immense load of stress on those who are bound to meet them.

Moreover, missing a deadline is an adverse outcome that most productive people tend to avoid under all circumstances. Fortunately enough for most of the hard working people out there, here are some common and useful tactics that can help you tackle even the scariest and tackiest deadlines ever.

Let us take a look at these life saving tips, which have been divided in three phases, for the convenience of your understanding.

Before Starting a Project

Your aim to become more efficient and manage your deadlines should ideally emanate right from the time when you plan to start a project.

1. Set the scope of that project straight before you

Before beginning to work on a project, set the scope of that project straight before you. This will help you understand the context of work which you are required to undertake during the interim of the project.

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This involves anticipating the volume of work that requires completing before the arrival of a deadline. While doing so, also keep provision for some extra time so that in the event that you encounter something unexpected, you are able to solve the matter, without disturbing the timeline of your deadline.

2. Think twice before you commit to a new project

At the same time, it makes sense to account for your existing project works before you commit to another one. All in all, at this stage, you are required to do everything that ensures that you have ample time to meet the time committed by you.

During the Project

This is the stage when you are actually going to be doing everything to meet your deadlines and remain efficient at your job.

3. Focus on starting the job at the earliest

At this stage, your aim should be focus on starting the job at the earliest. Procrastination is a bane that can put you in a state of desperation as your deadline approaches. Waiting for the last minute to start a project can be largely counterproductive and put you behind on the clock.

4. Stay focus on tasks which are top on your priority list

The best strategy that you can adopt at this stage is to choose tasks which are top on your priority list. The most important and most difficult tasks must be done first.

Adopt time management strategies to stay in line with the clock. Staying focused on your work area goes a long way in making you a more productive person. Thus, it would be very helpful for you if you adopt a healthy lifestyle, eat right and take the perfect rest.

Also, keep your work area free of distractions, so that you are not pushed to divert your focus for something which is not a priority.

5. Track your progress

Time and again, you must take steps to track your progress and check what portion of your goals have been met in the process of completing your jobs. Give yourself short term goals, which are always easier to meet.

Alongside these short term goals, make it a habit to check your daily progress, which will give you an accurate idea about what you have accomplished and what remains to be accomplished.

If you are lagging behind on your goals, this will also help you manage your time better, to meet your goals in time.

6. Suspend activities that don’t contribute to your goals

Sometimes, it might be essential for you to suspend various activities which do not contribute to your goals and work. By this, you should directly understand the impact of activities such as social media, which tend to disturb your focus, attention and schedule.

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Hence, shunning out social media and like activities, would be a wise decision, until you get over a tight deadline.

If needed, you can also take the assistance of helpers to meet an impending job. Amidst this entire process, do not forget to keep a tab on your work and ensure that it is up to the mark.

Before turning it in, you should be sure about the correctness of the job. After all, there is no point in doing a job simply for the purpose of doing it, unless it does not bear the fruits that you expected.

In fact, it makes more sense to ask for some more time to get a job done, instead of submitting a half done job or something that is not up to the mark.

After the Project Is Done

Simply submitting a project work does not mean that your work is done. There are still some more things that you can do to improve your efficiency and become a more productive person in the long run.

7. Submit your project work before time to the client

You can try and submit your project work before time to the client, in order to make more time for other projects, which can then be completed on time as well.

Moreover, it gives you the added advantage of making an impression on the client. This way, you will be entrusted with further jobs, which is good for your economics.

8. Confirm receipt of the project

The next most important thing that you must do is to confirm receipt of the project. Even in these times of technological advancement, there are huge chances of the client blaming you for non-receipt of the project within the stipulated time. Hence, the one thing which you must absolutely do after submitting your project, is to confirm if it has been received by the client.

Also, make it a point to bill your work promptly so that you can receive your dues within a reasonable time, keeping things flowing for you.

9. Get client feedback

Amidst this entire scenario, it is absolutely important to get client feedback for the work submitted by you. This will help you analyse if the quality of work done by you is satisfactory. Once you receive a positive response to your work, you will feel more motivated to meet your work deadlines in time.

The Lazy Guy’s Guide to Stop Missing Deadlines

This being said, here is a quick guide for the lazy procrastinator in you, who is tired of missing deadlines, so that you can manage to meet some of them in time.

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1. Your focus should be on when it needs to be done, instead of focusing on what needs to be done.

The deadline of the project sometimes becomes the deciding factor in determining the quality of your output and your ability to complete it on time.

Deadlines are dreaded because people feel restricted because of them. Hence, one way to get over the dread is to negotiate and set them with your client at your own comfort.

2. Sometimes, some people miss deadlines because of you.

Sometimes, some people tend to miss deadlines, not because they are lazy or because they are unable to complete the job on time.

At times, the reason for missed deadlines is a lack of satisfaction with the quality of work performed by you. In this situation, you need to understand that aiming for perfection is a good quality but only as long as it does not hamper your deadlines.

The moment that begins to happen, it would be in your interest to shift your focus on meeting your deadlines instead of trying to be perfect.

3. Always try to work together with both, short term and long term deadlines.

The short term deadlines aim to keep you motivated and interested in your job whereas long term deadlines aim to build your overall target for achieving long term objectives.

4. Never try to overstep beyond the space of your room.

Engage yourself in work that equals only as much in quantity as you have the time to tackle with. Fill your plate with only as much work that you can handle.

5. Aim to settle down for fixed hours when working on your projects.

If you bring major variation in your working hours, then you are bound to give yourself excuses to work late or postpone a particular task for another time of the day.

Final Thoughts

Being late takes no time to turn into a psychological disorder and before you know it, it becomes a habit that you keep cultivating within you for an infinite time.

If this is the case with you, perhaps it is time to stop blaming time and start introspecting what is wrong with your schedule, so that you can become a more efficient person and begin meeting your deadlines.

With my practical tips above, you’ll quit the habit of rushing deadlines and start working efficiently.

Featured photo credit: A L L E F . V I N I C I U S Δ via unsplash.com

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Ankit Garg

Serial entrepreneur and working towards Early Retirement

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Last Updated on November 5, 2020

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. A rut can manifest as a productivity vacuum and be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. Is it possible to learn how to get out of a rut?

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, or a student, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on Small Tasks

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks that have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate positive momentum, which I bring forward to my work.

If you have a large long-term goal you can’t wait to get started on, break it down into smaller objectives first. This will help each piece feel manageable and help you feel like you’re moving closer to your goal.

You can learn more about goals vs objectives here.

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2. Take a Break From Your Work Desk

When you want to learn how to get out of a rut, get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the bathroom, walk around the office, or go out and get a snack. According to research, your productivity is best when you work for 50 minutes to an hour and then take a 15-20 minute break[1].

Your mind may be too bogged down and will need some airing. By walking away from your computer, you may create extra space for new ideas that were hiding behind high stress levels.

3. Upgrade Yourself

Take the down time to upgrade your knowledge and skills. Go to a seminar, read up on a subject of interest, or start learning a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college[2]. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a Friend

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while. Relying on a support system is a great way to work on self-care when you’re learning how to get out of a rut.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget About Trying to Be Perfect

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies. Perfectionism can lead you to fear failure, which can ultimate hinder you even more if you’re trying to find motivation to work on something new.

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If you allow your perfectionism to fade, soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come, and then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

Learn more about How Not to Let Perfectionism Secretly Screw You Up.

6. Paint a Vision to Work Towards

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the ultimate goal or vision you have for your life?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action. You can use the power of visualization or even create a vision board if you like to have something to physically remind you of your goals.

7. Read a Book (or Blog)

The things we read are like food for our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great material.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. You can also stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs and follow writers who inspire and motivate you. Find something that interests you and start reading.

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8. Have a Quick Nap

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep[3].

Try a nap if you want to get out of a rut

    One Harvard study found that “whether they took long naps or short naps, participants showed significant improvement on three of the four tests in the study’s cognitive-assessment battery”[4].

    9. Remember Why You Are Doing This

    Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

    What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall your inspiration, and perhaps even journal about it to make it feel more tangible.

    10. Find Some Competition

    When we are learning how to get out of a rut, there’s nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

    Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, and networking conventions can all inspire you to get a move on. However, don’t let this throw you back into your perfectionist tendencies or low self-esteem.

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    11. Go Exercise

    Since you are not making headway at work, you might as well spend the time getting into shape and increasing dopamine levels. Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, or whatever type of exercise helps you start to feel better.

    As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

    If you need ideas for a quick workout, check out the video below:

    12. Take a Few Vacation Days

    If you are stuck in a rut, it’s usually a sign that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

    Beyond the quick tips above, arrange one or two days to take off from work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax, do your favorite activities, and spend time with family members. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

    Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest.

    More Tips to Help You Get out of a Rut

    Featured photo credit: Ashkan Forouzani via unsplash.com

    Reference

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