For some, they are a driving force to act. For others, the very thought of them makes their blood run cold. Deadlines, that we are speaking of, have taken over our life and, whether we like it or not, they rule both its professional and private sphere equally. Is there anybody who has never raced against time to meet the deadline set by themselves or somebody else? Or is there anybody who has not desperately searched for methods to gain another day to finalize the task at least once?
You will not find many of such persons. We know one thing for sure – time can’t be stretched. The only thing left is to organize your work reasonably. Fortunately, there is a number of techniques and tools that can help us with that.
Looking at the list of tasks when starting a project can make your head spin. It is impossible to imagine having to implement it without a good plan. One of the efficient action rules even says that one minute spent on planning allows to save ten minutes on implementation. Therefore, what is worth considering at the very beginning? To start with, it is necessary to determine which activities are key for the project, which have to be dealt with first and which can be left for later or delegated to others. This way, we avoid organizational chaos and make the route to completing work on time easier.
Setting priorities is one thing, but another thing is… eating the elephant one bite at a time. What does it mean? Performance of an extremely complicated task may often seem as unfeasible as eating an elephant. This changes, however, when we split it into much smaller bites that are easier to swallow, doesn’t it? Each task consists of a series of particular activities. Focusing on one of them and setting the rest aside for the meantime makes it easier for us to get down to work, our productivity increases and we reach the goal quicker.
When planning our activities, we should also remember not to take too much on ourselves. Trying to kill two birds with one stone and planning your day to the exact minute is a good strategy, but only to fall in the battle with deadlines. There is always a chance something unexpected happens: new problems to solve are encountered, the tasks turns out to be more difficult than it seemed or we simply fall victim to the time stealers. Therefore, if we want to have the satisfaction of ticking the last item off our list at the end of the day, we should plan not more than 60% of our work time.
An invaluable help in our uneven fight with the deadlines hanging over our heads are the solutions proposed by IC Project. A transparent task list allowing to assess the priorities quickly, checklists that can be attached to any Kanban card or embedded calendar – these are only a few of facilities that will be appreciated by anybody who had to explain themselves after some delays. What is worth noting is the extensive notification system – both via emails and in the system itself – that will make the imminent deadline less of a bane.
So, what to do to always make it on time? Let’s take a look at a brief summary:
- remember that you have only two hands,
- larger tasks should be broken down into smaller parts,
- prioritize the things you have to do,
- make friends with the calendar,
- use tool facilitating time management.
The fact that we are going to face a deadline sooner or later is as certain as death and taxes. But if we plan our work rationally, we do not have to loose sleep over it. And if it turns out that we cannot meet the deadline anyway? Well, what is left is… negotiating a new deadline.