Deadlines are part of working life, and we all have to deal with them at some point in our lives. However, when you have a number of deadlines coming up at once, it’s often hard to figure out how to move forward. You can fall into a panic which results in one or more deadlines being missed, which could have repercussions for your career. Here’s how to deal with those deadlines when they become deadly.
Figure Out Where To Start With Deadlines
The first thing you need to do is to prioritize. Normally, the best thing to do would be to work from the closest deadline on, but that might not always work for you. If you have long-term projects which require lots of smaller steps to complete, you might need to start those earlier. Here’s how to figure out your priorities:
- Break each project down into the steps needed to complete it
- Where a step needs time to complete (for example: if you will need to send out emails and wait for a response, or if you need to leave something for a day to test it, or so on), make a note of this
- Lay out all of the steps next to each other in order of the deadline
- If you can see that you wouldn’t have time to complete all of the steps for one project before the deadline, move those steps higher up your priority list
- Create an organized schedule of which steps for each project need to be done when
Get Yourself Organized
Even when you have decided on the order for everything, it can be hard to keep it all straight in your head. Especially when you are working at a breakneck pace, you need to find a way to stay on track without having to do lots of manual checking. Apps are your friend in this case. Try to use apps such as these:
- A simple calendar app, where you can add each step onto the day it needs to be done by. Make sure it sits on your home screen so you always know what today’s tasks are
- A note-taking app such as Evernote or even a simple notepad app where you can write quick notes about later steps if you need to
- A more complex to-do list app such as 2Do or Todoist, which allows you to check off each step when you complete it and which also includes deadlines and alerts to keep you on track
- Shareable tools like Google Calendar or a Google spreadsheet so you can share them with colleagues if you work as part of a team
Get started ASAP
The big temptation with deadlines is to stare at them and hope that they go away. We can end up sticking our heads in the sand because there just seems to be too much to do. The best thing for it is to remember that each step you cross off is one less of the list, and before long, they will all be checked off.
- If you have a number of different tasks which are all the same priority level, start with an easy and quick one so that you feel the satisfaction of getting started.
- Tackle the hardest and longest next – once that is out of the way, the rest will feel like a breeze!
The thing about deadly deadlines is that they aren’t so deadly at all once you break them down and manage them. With these easy steps, you’ll be handling them like a pro in no time.
Corinne Ledling is a businesswoman who’s very passionate about her job. She’s a Content Manager at Bizstats.co.uk and loves to share tips and tricks about productivity and efficiency.