Advertising
Advertising

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.

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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

More by this author

Ankit Garg

Serial entrepreneur and working towards Early Retirement

How to Set Financial Goals and Actually Meet Them 10 Ways to Build Positive And Effective Work Relationships 10 Best Ted Talks About Procrastination That Will Ignite Your Motivation How to Work More Efficiently and Stop Rushing to Meet Deadlines 17 Practical Money Skills that Will Set You Up for Early Retirement

Trending in Smartcut

1 The Secret to Success Is Failure 2 How to Stop Bad Habits: 9 Scientifically Proven Methods 3 How to Lead a Team More Effectively and Be a True Leader at Work 4 How to Make a Career Change at 50 for Great Opportunities 5 What Job Should You Have? 10 Questions to Help You Figure It Out

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on April 6, 2020

15 Best Productivity Hacks for Procrastinators

15 Best Productivity Hacks for Procrastinators

Let me guess.

You should be doing something else rather than reading this article. But due to some unknown force of nature, you decided to procrastinate by reading an article about how to hack procrastination. You deserve a pat on the back.

Fortunately, procrastination is not a disease. It’s just a mindset that can be changed, however, here are some productivity tips you need to start getting work done:

First, you need to acknowledge that procrastinating is an unhealthy habit. Not only you’re prioritizing unimportant things, basically, nothing gets done. Still unsure if you’re a procrastinator? Check out this article: Types of Procrastination (And How To Fix Procrastination And Start Doing)

Second, your commitment to change is very important. You should be physically, emotionally, and mentally determined to change this habit. If not, then you’ll just succumb to the tempting lure of doing other things rather than your tasks or chores.

Here are sthe best productivity hacks to improve productivity and keep yourself from procrastinating at work:

1. Give (10+2)*5 a Try

Let’s start with a classic but very effective hack called (10+2)*5 created by Merlin Mann,[1] author of 43Folders.com. Don’t worry. This is not a complicated Mathematical formula you need to solve.

Advertising

The (10+2)*5 simply means 10 minutes work + 2 minutes break multiplied by 5, completing 1 hour. It is crucial to stick with the time limits and not skipping work and break schedules. The point of this is for you to create a jam-packed routine of work and break schedules. The result? You will eventually skip your break schedules.

2. Use Red and Blue More Often

Clean your desk and remove things that might distract you. According to a Science Daily study[2] about which colors improve brain performance, red was found out to increase attention to details while blue sparks creativity. Surrounding your workplace with these colors not only benefits your brain, it’s also pleasing to the eye.

3. Create a Break Agenda

List all the things you want to do on your break, be it surfing the web, checking your emails, snack time, taking selfies, Facebook/Twitter—everything.

Like the (10+2)*5 hack, squeeze these in between work time but the difference is you schedule these activities for ONLY 20 minutes. Eventually, you’ll take your break minutes wisely. You’re finishing tasks while sidetracking to doing the things you enjoy.

4. Set a Timetable for Your Tasks

Like any other habits, procrastinating is a tough wall to break. Replace this habit with another habit. When you’re assigned a task, set a timetable for each step. Let’s say you have a big research task. Here’s a sample timetable:

9:00 – 9:10 am – Set up all your tools, browser tabs, emails, coffee, etc..
9:10 – 10:00 am – Internet research
10:00 – 10:45 am – Look through existing files
10:45 – 11:00 am – Break time!
11:00 – 12:00 pm – Outline the research report

Deadlines are the best hack for getting things done. Setting a specific time to finish a task creates time pressure even if the deadline has passed.

Advertising

5. Take It Outside!

Do yourself a favor and don’t ruin the comfy vibe of your home. If you need to work on a stressful project, do it in a library or coffee shop. You’ll never finish it anyway. Your cozy sofa and toasty bed will just lure you into napping yourself to doom.

6. Become Productively Lazy

Instead of finding all sorts of ways to unproductively procrastinate, use your habit to look for shortcuts and new ways to finish your tasks. Staple multiple papers at a time or master the 3-second t-shirt folding technique. A strong drive combined with laziness sometimes bring out the productive and creative side you never knew you have!

7. Assign a ‘Task Deputy’

It could be your colleague, your supervisor, or your significant other, anyone who has the unforgiving guts to reprimand you when you procrastinate. You could go the extra mile by paying up unfinished tasks or times you open your Facebook or watch a funny cat video on YouTube. Let’s see how five bucks every time you procrastinate will change you.

8. Consider a Gadget-Free Desk

According to a study by Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers, average users check on their phones 150 times per day and having your phone just an elbow away just creates sizzle to this habit.[3]

Removing mobile devices and gadgets allows you to focus on your work without the constant interruption from notifications, calls, and text messages. It eliminates the very distracting ambiance and the urge to unlock your phone just because.

9. Prepping the Night

Before hitting the sack to oblivion, prepare everything you’ll need the next day. This will probably take you 15 minutes tops, saving you more time for coffee in the morning.

Spin class at am? Pack up your gym clothes, shoes, socks, etc. or better, create a checklist so you don’t miss anything. You can also prep your food into containers and just grab one before leaving.

Advertising

10. Do a 7-Minute Workout in the Morning

Exercising is proven to increase productivity and stimulate release of endorphin or “Happy Hormones”.

Take a jog outdoors and get warmed up for the day. Don’t feel like running outside? Hop on a treadmilli. It’s a great investment and there are a lot of ways you can use a treadmill like endurance running and metabolism training. On a budget? Here’s a 7 minute, no-equipment needed workout you can do at home:

11. Set-up Mini Tasks

If you’re given a big project, break it down into mini tasks. Create a checklist and start with the easy ones until you finish. Got an article to write? Just start with the title and the first sentence. Or perhaps you have a visual presentation to make?

Spend 15 minutes on your outline, take five minutes coffee break, then finish the first two slides. Accomplishing something, no matter how tiny, still gives you that sense of fulfillment.

12. Create an Inspirational Board or Reminder

I found these mini desk chalkboards from Etsy you can use to write motivating quotes.

Or you know what? Simply write “Do it now!” and stare at it for 10 seconds every time you feel like dropping by on Reddit.

13. Redecorate Your Room

Redecorating my room motivates me to maintain that ‘new’ look for some time until I get use to it and eventually stop. So I redecorate again and again, it became a monthly habit really. Here are some DIY ideas you can do to any room without spending much.

Advertising

14. Ready Your Nibbles

You know that trip to the pantry? It’s just seconds away but it took you several minutes just to get your fruit snacks in the fridge. Before starting a task, prepare your nibbles on your desk to avoid zoning out and losing yourself on the way to the pantry.

Bonus productivity hacks you can do at home:

15. Schedule Your Chores

Write down your chores in a weekly basis with matching day and time when you should be doing these.

For the artsy folks, you can create fun chore charts like these or simply stick the list somewhere visibly annoying e.g. mirrors, doors, TV. The trick is listing as many chores as you can for the week and including unfinished chores the following week. Who likes seeing a long list of chores first thing in the morning?

More Tips to Overcome Procrastination

Featured photo credit: Glenn Carstens-Peters via unsplash.com

Reference

Read Next