Stop Deadline Stress

Deadline is a scary word. The sound of it can make you nervous. Lots of people stress about deadlines. The fear of not meeting deadlines, the pressure of working under tight time limits – that’s what anyone faces today.

Way Out?
make your deadlines not that ‘deadly’!

Types Of Deadlines

1. Those you set for yourself:

  • Rush deadlines (do as soon as possible)
  • One-time deadline (turn once and forget)

2. Those others set for you:

  • Phased deadlines (turn work in phases)
  • Recurring deadlines (long term work)

Why Deadlines Beat You Down

  • Unrealistic sense of how much time you need to complete a task
  • Not having a good plan or a list of your priorities
  • Having multiple deadlines around the same time
  • Aiming for more perfection than needed
  • Procrastinating or getting distracted too often

How To Make Deadlines Less Stressful

1. Break Your Tasks
Break a project down to its smallest steps and note how long each step takes to complete, writing them down on a spreadsheet or other tool.

2. Get More Organized
Try to organize your work so you’re doing your best productive tasks during your best hours and for the other 80% of your time, deal with the easiest tasks.

3. Learn More About Your Task
Get a more accurate read on how long similar tasks take. Look at past projects or set up a time tracking system with a tool like RescueTime – and then try add a padding for any unknowns.

4. Create A Priority List
Start with a medium challenge task, before moving on to the biggest challenge.

The medium challenge will warm you up and set you up for the bigger challenge. The smaller, easier things can be left for last as they’re probably the quickest and easiest to complete under last minute

5. Take Breaks
If you’re feeling stuck with the big challenge, take a break and do some easier tasks.

It’s about creating a balance. And If you’re not able to focus on the big challenge for some reason, you can continue to be productive by doing some easier tasks and then be returning to the big challenge.

6. Be Realistic (+20% more time to every task)
Time urgency  breeds overoptimistic deadlines. You think you can get more done in a time frame than you can, because you pick the time you want it to be complete, not a realistic deadline. Start by adding 20 percent more time to every task.

7. Avoid Monday Deadlines
When you need to meet a deadline on a Monday, you will have to work the weekend ¬†which isn’t healthy. It’s best to schedule deadlines between Tuesday and Thursday.

8. Cut Clock-Checking by 75%
Watching the clock wastes time and jacks up panic. Take off your watch, if you have to. Put a Post-It note over the clock on the computer monitor.

9. Tidy Your Desk
Tidy desk – tidy mind. Clean your desk from all the distractions and you will automatically sky rocket productivity. It will be physically easier to find whatever you need and psychologically easier to focus on what you are doing at the moment.

10. Get More Sleep
Naturally, if the deadline is right around the corner you switch on sleepless mode and use the night time to get the work done. That is the wrong strategy. True, you can get some extra hours for work, but the lack of sleep makes you absolutely unproductive.

Remember, even 10 or 15 minutes of sleep can make you feel refreshed and energized to beat that deadline!

Don’t Let deadline stress you out! Self-discipline and simple time management rules followed every day – and you’ll just nail any deadline before it can scare you.

 

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