Everything was going great. All the projects were being submitted on time. There was no delay in any tasks. But a few months back things went off track. One morning, he promised to complete the task by the end of the day. He is a developer in my team. An important part of project was given to him which he delayed and later at the end of the day, I had no intimation from him.
The next day he said, “I am sorry for the delay and will provide the project by tomorrow.”
And he took another two days to submit the project. I was very dissatisfied with his performance as the task that could be done in a day, he took four days to complete it.
You probably would have experienced the same problem with meeting deadlines or your team going off track at the time of submissions.
How do you ensure that they nail every project deadline? Do you know the magical tricks that experts follow to prioritize the work on daily basis and reach the deadlines? Keep reading on to know the tricks that experts follow.
Deadlines are something that scare everybody from business owners to managers. It makes us feel anxious and stressful. But deadline can also be a source of inspiration, excitement, purpose if you look at it in the right light… and the more closer the deadlines get, the more motivated the people become.
Let’s first understand why strategic deadlines are important for entrepreneurs:-
- Prioritize and focus on what is important
- Things keep moving in a positive direction
- Stimulate innovation and creativity
- Will make you answerable for your goals
- Keep you unwilling to make fake promises
- Boost your confidence and inspire you
Now when we know the importance of deadlines for our workplace, I will now take you over to those magical tricks I have been talking about above that experts follow for achieving deadlines at their workplace.
Urgent vs. important
The first step is to see if you have any tasks that need immediate attention. Which means the work that needs to be completed within few hours or by the end of the day and if not done will lead to some serious consequences and loss. Know the difference between urgent and important tasks and focus on finishing up a piece of urgent work now.
Sleep? Will you be able to reach deadlines in your sleep? Haha, nope but for your brain to think in a better way you need to sleep. Poor sleeping schedules is a recipe for an unproductive day ahead. According to Harvard Medical School, average American loses more than 11 days in productivity each year due to lack of sleep. Lack of sleep will cost your workplace highly. A short nap or a sufficient sleep will let you focus more on work and will make your mind clear. Prepare your list of tasks and propose a deadline and then sleep. This will help you to get a more clear mind when you wake up after the nap.
You need to have an overall plan for dealing with deadlines. So, in your first meeting related to the project assign everyone a next step and a deadline. With this, motivate your team to start now and not tomorrow. This will even help you to know what is missing and focus on small steps in front of them. Moreover, you can get valuable feedback in the early stages of the project and iterate accordingly.
Break it down
A long journey starts with one small step and then another step until you reach your destination. That’s how you can reach at something easily and efficiently by taking small consecutive steps. Similarly, systematically breaking down large projects into small projects will assure more manageable projects. To keep momentum going define the project and start with the big tasks and break them down into small tasks that have their own deadlines. Each person of the team will be doing a bit of the big tasks. Breaking up the big tasks is a good way to make sure that deadlines are met and is a proven way of handling long -term projects.
Project management technology
As per the new trends, entrepreneurs are working remotely with their small or large group of teams. Thanks to the technology that has made life easy for teams. It has made the world a better place and teams nowadays are using some kind of task management software for managing their projects. A project management software will help you to get control over your projects and teams. You can set a milestone and easily achieve the deadlines by keeping things organized and delivering projects on time. You can also keep track of time spent on tasks to plan the future projects accordingly.
Assuming things can kill the deadlines at work. For success of projects and work objectives, it is critical to develop a communication plan. For effective team communication, you can use effective tools as successful communication plan will outline the scope of work, ensure meeting deadlines of each task and in the case of issues teams can easily notify each other. Team can also share important documents over chat and share their ideas.
Sounds easy to meet deadlines with the above tricks? If you cannot meet the deadline, say so. It can be a little scary but if your boss already knows the truth, it would keep their expectations on the same pace. It is even better to convey your boss in the middle of projects that it is taking a bit longer and you need an extension for the same. They would know that you are trying hard but the circumstances are so that you cannot meet the deadlines. Inform in a timely manner to those involved and decide about the alternatives.