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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 19, 2019

7 Signs That You’re Way Too Busy

7 Signs That You’re Way Too Busy

“Busy” used to be a fair description of the typical schedule. More and more, though, “busy” simply doesn’t cut it.

“Busy” has been replaced with “too busy”, “far too busy”, or “absolutely buried.” It’s true that being productive often means being busy…but it’s only true up to a point.

As you likely know from personal experience, you can become so busy that you reach a tipping point…a point where your life tips over and falls apart because you can no longer withstand the weight of your commitments.

Once you’ve reached that point, it becomes fairly obvious that you’ve over-committed yourself.

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The trick, though, is to recognize the signs of “too busy” before you reach that tipping point. A little self-assessment and some proactive schedule-thinning can prevent you from having that meltdown.

To help you in that self-assessment, here are 7 signs that you’re way too busy:

1. You Can’t Remember the Last Time You Took a Day Off

Occasional periods of rest are not unproductive, they are essential to productivity. Extended periods of non-stop activity result in fatigue, and fatigue results in lower-quality output. As Sydney J. Harris once said,

“The time to relax is when you don’t have time for it.”

2. Those Closest to You Have Stopped Asking for Your Time

Why? They simply know that you have no time to give them. Your loved ones will be persistent for a long time, but once you reach the point where they’ve stopped asking, you’ve reached a dangerous level of busy.

3. Activities like Eating Are Always Done in Tandem with Other Tasks

If you constantly find yourself using meal times, car rides, etc. as times to catch up on emails, phone calls, or calendar readjustments, it’s time to lighten the load.

It’s one thing to use your time efficiently. It’s a whole different ballgame, though, when you have so little time that you can’t even focus on feeding yourself.

4. You’re Consistently More Tired When You Get up in the Morning Than You Are When You Go to Bed

One of the surest signs of an overloaded schedule is morning fatigue. This is a good indication that you’ve not rested well during the night, which is a good sign that you’ve got way too much on your mind.

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If you’ve got so much to do that you can’t even shut your mind down when you’re laying in bed, you’re too busy.

5. The Most Exercise You Get Is Sprinting from One Commitment to the Next

It’s proven that exercise promotes healthy lives. If you don’t care about that, that’s one thing. If you’d like to exercise, though, but you just don’t have time for it, you’re too busy.

If the closest thing you get to exercise is running from your office to your car because you’re late for your ninth appointment of the day, it’s time to slow down.

Try these 5 Ways to Find Time for Exercise.

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6. You Dread Getting up in the Morning

If your days are so crammed full that you literally dread even starting them, you’re too busy. A new day should hold at least a small level of refreshment and excitement. Scale back until you find that place again.

7. “Survival Mode” Is Your Only Mode

If you can’t remember what it feels like to be ahead of schedule, or at least “caught up”, you’re too busy.

So, How To Get out of Busyness?

Take a look at these articles to help you get unstuck:

Featured photo credit: Khara Woods via unsplash.com

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