Top 8 Tried and True Methods for Meeting Deadlines
Are you someone who is struggling with meeting deadlines for submission of an assignment or completion of any task? Completing the work on time and in the correct way has always been a challenge and stressful situation for many.
Employees, students, business class- almost everyone has some of the tasks, which have a due date of completion. In this article, there are a few tried and tested ways mentioned that will prove to be helpful to master the skill and become a punctual person to solve issues related to meeting deadlines.
“Everything is an experiment until it has a deadline. That gives it a destination, context, and a reason.” ——-Brian Eno
Life is a game of timing. Somebody rightly said, “Respect time and time will respect you.” Work completed on time yields great results followed by success. We all are aware of the importance of time and the value of the work, which is finished in stipulated time.
But somehow, we get tense when we know that the particular task needs to be finished on or before the given date and time. This tense feeling for meeting deadlines can arouse anxiety and unnecessary stress. To finish the work by cut-off dates, a lot of us tend to grapple with time and end up being frustrated and exhausted.
So, why do certain tasks need to be completed on a decided date? To answer these and a few more such questions, first, let us understand the significance of fixing a target date for any work.
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Let us understand the importance and problems we may encounter during the work to be done on or before the cut-off date and time. If we are aware of the importance then we will surely implement the tips given in this article.
Similarly, if we know about the potential hurdles, we may encounter during this, then we can take precautionary measures and be prepared. Let us not forget that planning is of utmost importance. A job well begun is well done and planning is the first step.
Importance of Setting a Deadline
The word “Deadline” literally means a line/date before, which your job or task should be completed. Like a dead end on the road, you cannot go beyond this. Of course, at times due to genuine reasons and unavoidable circumstances, these deadlines do get extended. But when we begin the work, this thought of extension should not be on top of our minds.
Our goal should be set towards meeting deadlines. So, a precise deadline means completion of the task on or before a decided date and time. Also, it is very important that the job completed should be of good quality and value.
Many people think that they have been given a deadline to create stress and only for fire fighting. But it is not so. Let us see the benefits of setting deadlines.
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Why are deadlines Set?
1. Discipline :
One of the fantastic benefits of setting a deadline is it builds self-discipline in our life. For meeting deadlines, we need to set our goals properly so that we can manage them well.
We schedule the time of a day in such a manner that it yields optimum benefit. We practice and train our mind and body to allow it to control our actions and follow and obey the rules.
Motivation works as a driving force behind all our actions and behaviors. When we know we have to achieve something in a stipulated time, we get motivated to achieve our goals.
3. Increase in Productivity :
Deadlines are set for important projects. When you know the importance of the project and the benefits it holds, you will plan and strategize in a manner that will increase your productivity.
This is good for you as an individual as well as the people around you. Who does not like to be highly productive and appreciated?
4. Sense of Responsibility:
Deadlines assigned to projects infuse a sense of responsibility. When the work is completed, and you are successful in meeting the deadline, the happiness and satisfaction you achieve are undefinable.
5. Time Management Skills:
Deadlines aid in spreading out a priority. Systemizing priorities is nothing but time management skills. When targets are set, we know the benefits and consequences of the same and hence we do not procrastinate. For meeting deadlines, we will do proper time management.
Time management is a skill that we have to learn to apply in all spheres of our life. Every living being has the same amount of time available in a day. We should be able to divide this time for various activities in such a way that it yields maximum output with minimum wastage.
Planning and organizing are the keys to time management. It is easier to track and measure progress and accomplishments, if the deadline is reached, and you are not under any pressure.
6. Avoid wastage of Time and Money :
When work is completed on or before time, automatically we save time and money which otherwise we would have spent by delaying the project or work. One job finished on time allows us to concentrate and complete other important and necessary work.
7. Avoids backlog of work by overcoming the habit of procrastination :
Things do not pile up if completed on time. No pile-up means no backlog and we are good to focus on other productive work. It means we will not go into the habit of procrastination. Many people are struggling to overcome this habit.
There can be many reasons for this- like you do not feel motivated for the work, you do not have an adequate amount of time to dedicate to the work, you are not well trained to do the work, etc. Time management is the best medicine to eradicate this procrastination habit.
8. Enables us to Identify any Potential Issues before Time :
We gather necessary resources and in this process, we can identify any potential issues in the implementation of the work and can rectify it or take corrective measures.
When we plan properly, we are aware of the potential risks or obstacles. For example, before any event, we know that we cannot rely on technology. Say, for example, the sound system or computer. In such cases, we keep a backup ready.
Setbacks Encountered during the Time of Meeting Deadlines
Let us discuss a few issues that may develop while attempting to achieve a target date and methods to overcome them.
1. Communication Gap –
When a project is assigned to you, make sure to be clear about what is expected from you. Understand the why, how, and what about the given work. Do not assume things. Ask questions.
Remember- no question is a stupid question. Avoid asking ambiguous questions even if you have the slightest doubt go ahead and get it cleared at the start only. Do not leave any scope for a communication failure.
2. Limitation in Use of Technology –
There can arise an inability of the hardware or software required to perform some activities which are necessary for your assignment. When you have comprehended the task well, then you will find yourself in a better position to know the technical requirements.
Get the required hardware or software either from someone or purchase it. If neither is possible, check with your teacher/employer if you can utilize the institution’s resources for that part of the assignment. Fix time with the office staff or teacher and make use of the resources.
3. Weak Time Management –
If we are unable to plan the work, then completing the work with quality before the closing date will become a challenge. Even if we manage to finish the work on time, it will be a stressful activity. If you are unable to manage your time, take help from elders or friends to guide you in doing so.
4. Feeling Demotivated –
You may feel demotivated in the middle of the assignment or somewhere during completing it. Rest and rejuvenation are equally important. Talk to your friends, mentor, or any family member. Exercise and meditation help not only for the given project but the practice of being mindful is well worth it.
A still and clear mind will help you to be more focused and stress-free and hence help you to be an expert in meeting deadlines. Also, you can go for a movie or outings with friends, listen to music or invest a few hours in reading or painting. Hobbies are a good activity to keep you motivated and happy. Get inspired by talking to or reading about experts.
5. Inadequate Resources –
This can be a major hurdle in the path of your goal while completing the assignment. If you have enough budget, then you can procure new resources.
Following are the Top 8 True, Tried, and Tested Helpful Pointers for Meeting Deadlines without Creating Stress and Anxiety.
Meeting deadlines means completing work on or before the agreed date and time. It is not just about completing the given assignment and submitting it on or before the agreed date and time but accomplishing it perfectly.
When we deal with finishing any work on time, we need to be able to manage our time effectively. We have to plan and organize the division of our time for various activities.
This ability will enable us to work more efficiently and complete more tasks in less time. We will not be stressed out even when the pressures are high. Start the work as soon as you receive the task. Starting early is key to being on the right path.
Follow these 8 Steps Diligently and You are on the Right Path towards Meeting Deadlines
1. Set a Goal for Each Day–
Setting goals gives us direction. We know the goal here is to submit or do the assigned work on or before the decided time. But, it is also very essential to have small achievable goals for each day. We can plan the quantity of work to be done on a daily basis.
This will not only allow us to complete the assignment on time, but it will also provide us with a sense of accomplishment, which will motivate us further to continue.
For example, your task is to make calls to say a hundred leads and provide them information about a conference/webinar/debate organized by your group or institution and convince a maximum of them to register. You can decide on the number of calls you need to make daily so that you can cover maximum leads.
2. Make a Checklist –
A checklist is the to-do list. When you know the different activities that are needed for the final project, then it is easier to make a to-do list. Creating a checklist will keep you on track and will help you in meeting deadlines.
Make a list of all the activities that are required for the completion of the task. It will also assist you in identifying any potential obstacles and taking the necessary steps to overcome them. Checklists are immensely helpful in identifying the amount of work to be done and the work completed.
3. Fix a Time and Quantity of Work to be Completed Daily –
Find the best time of the day when you think your productivity will be at the highest. By doing this, you will be in a better position to handle the other routine work without being stressed out. This will help to evade procrastination.
Postponing today’s work for some other day will only lead to huge pile-ups. If we consider the same example of making calls to leads, then here we need to identify the convenient time to make the calls.
The person whom you are calling needs to be available and give his full attention to the information you provide. Generally, evenings are the best time to call as people finish their work for the day and are in a relaxed state of mind.
It should not be late or early evenings. So, you can set a time from 5.30 pm to 8 pm to make the calls. You can also decide on the number of leads you will be calling daily. Distribute the load into small achievable chunks.
4. Avoid Distractions –
Distractions can be because of some gadget or person or your agitated state of mind. When you are working on the given task, make it a point to avoid checking social media or TV. Concentration and focus on the given job lead to amazing outputs.
Keep notifications of apps on your smartphones off. Do not get tempted to check messages after every few minutes. Keep your phone far away from the place where you are working, probably in some other room. Keep it on a silent or DND mode. Keep your place of work neat. Yes, untidy and unorganized places of work can also cause distractions.
5. Incentives for Self –
Positive reinforcement will help to encourage you throughout the task. Rewards work wonders, we all know. Keep some incentive for yourself like if today I finish the work at a given time or before then I will treat myself with my favorite food or something like that.
Buy something nice and cheap for yourself if you complete a major chunk of your work on time. Maybe watch television for an extra half an hour on any one day. Decide on that one incentive for yourself for which you feel encouraged to complete the work on time.
6. Consider Meeting Deadlines Important –
Many of us are not serious about submitting our work on or before the agreed time. Understand the importance of doing the assignment. People who take up due dates seriously are the ones who can stand out from the common. So make it a priority and start working towards the right direction.
Taking it for granted will only land up in more stressful moments. Be serious about the work and do not take it casually. There is a reason why a task needs to be completed at a certain time.
For example, you have to make a project on a particular topic before the first semester. This project has a weightage and if you are not able to do it on time, you may lose marks which can be of very much importance for your overall grades. Then later, you will have to request your teacher or superior to extend the submission time, which probably they may not.
7. Setting a Deadline for Yourself before the Actual Deadline –
Whenever you do the planning and goal setting, keep a target date and time for yourself before the actual deadline. This will ensure that you can edit your work as you get time to go through your work.
Believe me, this helps in reducing the stress level. You can target 2 or 3 days before the actual time of submission to complete the work. Be reasonable while doing so.
8. Delegate Work Wherever Possible –
When possible, delegate work so that all load is not on you. Of course, if the task requires your complete involvement, then you cannot delegate. But if possible, you should delegate. This will provide you with more time and energy to do other important tasks.
If in a part of your assignment you feel you need help, then reach out to others who can give you a piece of expert advice. Small tasks like finding some images related to the assignment can be delegated.
You can ask your family or friends to search for a few pictures related to your work. You can then shortlist them. This will save a lot of your time and also you learn the skill of delegation which in your later years will benefit you.
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Frequently Asked Questions
1. Can a student delegate his/her assignment to meet the cut-off date?
Delegation means assigning responsibility or authority to someone capable of doing it, and it saves your time and energy. When a student is assigned a task, it means that he/she has to do it on his own, as these projects carry weightage.
But sometimes, in these projects, certain work or part of the work can be delegated. For example, if in a project the students need to insert some images related to the work.
Then in such a case, he/she can ask for help or advice from a friend or family to search and shortlist and give them a few images. This will save their time and energy and will help in the completion of that work before the time allotted.
2. How important is the role of meeting deadlines?
Dictionary meaning of deadline is a point in time by which something must be done. They are important because it teaches the skills of time management, self-motivation, achievement, increased productivity and we plan to finish the work on time.
3. What is the meaning of time management?
Managing the time is to plan and organize different activities in such a way that you get optimum benefit from it. Time management is important in meeting deadlines without being stressed out. All living beings are given the same amount of time in a day. It is up to us how we plan and organize it and become more productive.
4. Is it good to procrastinate?
When we delay or postpone our work for a future date and time, it is called procrastination. What will happen if we do this? Very simple, we will end up having a backlog of work.
The work will keep on piling for a future date and the pressure to finish it will be tremendous leading to unnecessary stress and mental and physical illness. Hence, it is always advised to avoid procrastination and finish the given task on or before time.
I hope by implementing the above useful tips you are well prepared to take on any task and complete it successfully to meet deadlines.
Hence, while working on any project, its journey of completion should not be stressful or overwhelming. In order to avoid this and give an excellent output, we need to be well prepared. This is possible by applying the helpful tips which are provided in the article.