10 Techniques to Meet That Deadline
The ability to complete a task by a set deadline is important for just about everyone. Remember your first bit of homework in elementary school? Even from that early age, we understood that failing to meet the deadline came with consequences. Of course, as we grow older, the tasks and consequences get more and more significant.
But why is completing a job in the allocated time such a problem for some of us? Plenty of researchers have undertaken studies to uncover the reasons why projects end up overrunning and coursework gets ‘eaten by the dog.’
One study introduced the idea of the planning fallacy. It suggests we are unable to be realistic when estimating how long a task will take because we base those estimates on best case scenarios. Another showed that the more complicated a task seems, the further away we perceive the deadline to be.
So what can you do to avoid falling into these traps and save yourself the stress and panic of yet another race against time? Luckily we’ve found 10 techniques that will turn you into a pro when it comes to hitting deadlines – a deadline buster, if you will.
From breaking your work down into mini-deadlines to avoiding distractions and finding the right way to structure your work week, these strategies will ensure you’re getting your work done on time, without needing to burn the candle at both ends. Add in a bit of help from the right apps, and you’ll see how easy managing your workload can be.
Missing a deadline isn’t fun, and having to explain yourself afterwards is even less so. But with the right tools and techniques, extension requests will be a thing of the past. Read on to see which ones you can try out on your next project.
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Scientific American. (2011) Deadline Pressure Distorts Our Sense of Time. scientificamerican.com
Malatras, J.W., Israel, A.C, et al. (2016) First things first: Family activities and routines, time management and attention. sciencedirect.com
Mischel, W., Ebbesen, E.B., Raskoff Zeiss, A. (1972) Cognitive and attentional mechanisms in delay of gratification. psycnet.apa.org
Gallup. (2014) The New Era of Communication Among Americans. gallup.com
Ford, J., Ford, L. (2005) Deadline Busting: How To Be A Star Performer In Your Organization. professorford.com
MindTools. (2017) Critical Path Analysis and PERT Charts mindtools.com
Harvard Business Review. (2016) If You Dread Deadlines, You’re Thinking About Them All Wrong. hbr.org
99U. (2013) Front-Load Your Week + 3 Other Stress-Busting Time Management Strategies. 99u.com
McDonald, C.J., Wilson, G.A., McCabe Jr, G.P. (1980) Physician Response to Computer Reminders. jamanetwork.com
Roghanizad, M. M., Bohns, V.K. (2016) Ask in person: You’re less persuasive than you think over email. sciencedirect.com
The Muse. (2015) How to Ask for a Deadline Extension Without Losing Your Street Cred. themuse.com
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