How to Meet Difficult Deadlines

Thrive in 5 Tips

We all have deadlines in our lives, whether it is related to completing a deliverable at work on time or signing up for a workout so you don’t miss the class you hope to attend. With deadlines targeting us from almost every angle, it is important to set ourselves up for success in meeting them. While this may be easier said than done, we can use a few different tools to navigate deadlines efficiently. In today’s Thrive, we will share tips on meeting difficult deadlines!

Use the tips below to help meet difficult deadlines:

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Block Your Calendar for Heads Down Time
Heads down time is a great solution for tuning out distractions and getting things done! It allows you to focus in on a specific deliverable by blocking out time on your calendar in advance. It also helps to turn off notifications on your computer and phone during your working time so you’re not tempted by distractions. If, for some reason, you need to re-purpose your heads down time, be sure to reschedule it for another time rather than just cancel it.

Communicate with Your Team
It is always a good idea to keep your team in the loop upon finishing a task. Not only does this help track progress, but you can get quick feedback and adjust as needed early on.

Commit to a Deadline, and Meet It
Always meet your deadlines and if you are unable to, make sure you inform the individual or team ahead of time. This will help build trust and set expectations early on in an assignment. Remember: it’s better to under promise and over deliver.

Plan Ahead
It’s Monday morning, and you have your entire week planned out. All of a sudden, you get a call from your manager to complete a deliverable that is due at the end of the day. This situation throws all your planning off. Don’t worry! Always leave some buffer room in your schedule. This gives you a cushion to complete tasks on time, even with last-minute changes.

Productive Period
We all have a specific time during the day when we are most productive. For some, it may be early in the morning while for others, it’s later in the day. By identifying your productive period, you can schedule to complete your most important deliverable at that time. This will help you accomplish your goal at a time that is less stressful for you than at a time when you’re not as productive!

Apply the Five!

Now that you have some tools in your toolkit, take the quiz below to learn more about your time management skills!

Use the results to help make you more deliberate choices for tackling difficult deadlines. Share your results with teammates, and collaborate on how you can leverage time management skills to meet difficult deadlines!

Take the Quiz

Learn How Evans Thrives!

What better way to inspire you to thrive than to hear about real people making it happen? And what better way to learn about Evans than to make those real people Evans employees and partners?

Meet Jay Bradley!

jay thrive

Since Evans started working 100% virtually due to COVID-19, planning for deadlines has become much more deliberate for our family. Schedules have had to adjust since I am working virtually while my wife still goes into work. Fortunately, I am in a situation where we can support each other and balance the load. We maintain a shared calendar where we try to build in buffer times for the unexpected. Before we did this, there was the inevitable panic moment when we try to figure out how to get it all done.

There are a few things I have learned when dealing with deadlines. First, know your bandwidth and how that impacts you and others. Early in this remote working posture, this was a hurdle we had to overcome. Second, break the problem into manageable pieces. This is critical for me to manage how I approach something, particularly if what I am working on is new. Third, have a support network who can you ask for help, bounce an idea off of, who can help cook dinner or who can at least get takeout when you are backed up. Lastly, prioritize what is important. Sometimes the client just needs it and we adapt. However, know when to say “no.” Most of us are overachievers, but it does no good for anyone to be stacked with deadlines and stress with no time for the simple stuff.