Grace’s mum: Baby girl, you haven’t had your dinner and it’s been over 2 hours already. You work all day and you’re not eating well!!!!!
Grace: Mum I’m coming. I’ll eat soon. I have some documents to compile for my boss and some clients and the deadline is tomorrow. Please mum I’m almost done and I’ll eat; so please let me breathe! Love you mum.
Grace’s mum: It’s alright, but please try to start earlier next time so you do not have to be rushing all the time.
Grace: Yes mum, I will change!
We all have deadlines whether at work, school, etc. Being able to meet up with deadlines might or might not be easy depending on how dedicated you are to the task assigned to you. Today, we will be looking at some tips on how to meet deadlines.
Some reasons why people miss deadlines
- Not enough time
- Improper planning/ scheduling
- Unreal expectations
- Poor communication/ miscommunication
- Last minute changes.
Importance of Having Deadlines
Basically, deadlines are set for the following reasons:
- To encourage discipline and orderliness
- To ensure that we complete our work.
- To ensure that work runs smoothly
- To set expectations
- It teaches us time management
- Helps to build our self esteem
- Heightened academic achievement
Failure to meet a deadline can lead to
- Bad reputation(personally and to your company)
- Loss of clients
- Loss of sales, contracts, and finances.
The two main areas to focus on when you have to meet a deadline is: managing the deadline, and managing yourself.
SOME WAYS TO MEET DEADLINES
1. Gathering the Right Resources
Ensure that you have most, if not all of the information, documents and man power required to get the job done and on time. Who and who are the personnel you need? Have they been informed before hand? Is there any training needed? Is it scheduled? Is the venue booked already? Starting late or rushing might decrease the quality of your work.
2. Do not accept too much responsibilities:
Some of the reasons why we do not meet deadlines might be due to over-commitment. Accepting more responsibilities than we can handle can leave us over-occupied. Let’s get used to saying “no” if we cannot commit to finishing a project on time.
3. Stay up late:
Most times we are told what is required of us earlier than the expected day but due to procrastination, or improper planning, we are not able to meet deadlines. This can make you carry out a haphazard job. Sometimes, this might require you to stay up late, spend extra hours just to meet the timeline.
4. Try to negotiate and meet a second deadline.
If you have tried your best and the time given is simply not sufficient, you can try to contact your client, boss or whoever necessary and negotiate a second deadline. It is much better to do this than to let the deadline go by without any communication or disappoint others. If you eventually get a new deadline, make sure to meet it this time. Two missed deadlines in a row is bad for your reputation.
5. Set timelines:
Having a start and finish date or planning a step-by-step approach with timelines attached, will help you predict if you will be able to meet the deadline. It also keeps you on track if you know when each step should be started and completed.
6. Try to decrease the after-effect of missing a deadline
Regardless of how much effort, planning or time you put in to avoid missing a deadline, it might still happen. When you experience this, try to stay calm, find a way to remedy the situation or limit the damage caused but if you cannot then we take it as one of those things.
Ensure you inform the parties involved on the updates as soon as possible. Be sure to explain politely and in full details all the issues encountered and your plans to remedy the situation.
Doing this makes you more reliable and very professional. You might even get help and suggestions to help you speed up the process.
“Dreams without deadlines are dead in the water. Deadlines are really lifelines to achieving our goals.”