A lot of technical professionals have to deal with fast-paced, deadline-driven environments. Unfortunately, technical professionals are often saddled with multiple deadlines at once. They also have to deal with deadlines set by someone who doesn’t entirely understand the project. Whichever challenges you’re facing if you follow these tips you’ll never miss a deadline again!
1. Public Commitment
When you’re setting a goal for yourself it’s easier to stick to your deadline when others are expecting you to. Set a deadline and let people know. That way their expectations help hold you accountable and they will remind you when the deadline is coming soon.
2. Set Automated Reminders
If you can’t rely on others to remind you about deadlines you can always count on technology! Set reminders in your work email. Use your phone to count down to your upcoming deadline. Additionally, you can include motivational quotes to help keep you on a productive path. That way you finish your work in time.
3. Have Mini-Deadlines Along the Way
One major project deadline way down the road isn’t as motivating as several small deadlines that happen frequently. You can divide your project up as soon as you understand the full workload and give yourself several min-deadlines along the way to help motivate you and help you hit your major deadline down the road, rather than having work pile up at the end and become overwhelming.
4. Give Yourself A Buffer
If there’s one thing you can count on when working with technology it’s unexpected errors, bugs, or features taking longer to develop than you anticipated. When you’re setting your initial deadline and planning smaller deadlines along the way make sure to give yourself a few days buffer by setting the main deadline a couple of days before it’s actually due. This will help you make sure the work is completely finished on time and save you a little time to add any finishing touches, discover any unseen errors, or turn in the project before the official due date hits.
5. Fully Loaded Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday Mornings
When you’re planning your workload and anticipating an upcoming deadline it’s better to front-load your mornings earlier in the week in case certain elements take longer than anticipated or unexpected errors occur. Leave your afternoons fairly free for other projects or tasks that weren’t completed in the morning and you’ll feel a lot less overwhelmed heading into your weekends.
Deadlines are a reality in most jobs but they’re particularly prevalent and fast-paced in IT. Anyone who is intimidated by them should fear no more with these five tips at their side. If you never want to miss a deadline again these five tips will become your new best friend!
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