Setting deadlines strategically and tricking your brain into getting things done more quickly is one way to improve productivity at work. Typically, deadlines are viewed as a stressful affair. Just the word brings to mind panicked scrambles and rushed work to meet certain time-frames. However, when used properly, they are an excellent tool. Here are a few tips on setting and keeping deadlines.
Give yourself early deadlines
By tricking your brain into thinking a deadline is earlier than it truly is, you’ll end up finishing your projects with time to spare. This is a good practice to get into, since it shows you that you can complete tasks and projects ahead of time, instead of going all the way up to the deadline every time. Early deadlines also make for happy clients, and get the ball rolling more quickly.
Break your deadlines down into smaller tasks
Deadlines are often so scary because they are paired with large projects, and they are literally the “dead” line. The latest you can submit your large, impressive, intimidating projects. One way to make deadlines less intimidating is to break them down into smaller tasks that come together. For example, instead of setting the deadline for a finished website, set deadlines for the website design, build, and content population. That way, each team member has their own roles and responsibilities, and as long as they meet their (attainable) deadlines, the project will get done in time.
View deadlines as your tool, not your master
Change your mindset about deadlines to take advantage of them and improve productivity and efficiency. When you view deadlines as the end-all, they become scary and almost unattainable. But when you look at deadlines as tools to help you get work done, they become just another useful tool in your repertoire.
If you are ambitious and want to take it a step further, finish tasks that come your way as soon as possible, and ignore deadlines altogether. As long as you ensure you get your projects done immediately, you won’t have to think about the deadlines at all!
What are your tips for deadlines and productivity at work?
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