Meeting deadlines can mean the difference between success and failure in business. While there are some circumstances beyond your control, it’s important to approach all deadlines with a high level of efficiency. Use the following tips to help you crush deadlines and meet goals.
Prioritize With the Eisenhower Model
When faced with a pressing deadline for a project, start by managing time across all work tasks with the Eisenhower Model, which breaks down your workday into small, more manageable tasks. Tackle urgent items first and allow unimportant items to fall off the list for the time being. This decision-making tool uses four easy steps.
- Address the urgent and most important tasks first.
- Tackle important but not urgent to-dos.
- Take care of urgent but not important items.
- Perform the neither urgent nor important tasks.
Most projects include a set of goals that are structured along a timeline to make them manageable and defined. Create a series of checkpoints to ensure each project moves along at an even pace. Distribute the checkpoints over your timeline, and give yourself plenty of time to complete each task. You can always move ahead to the next step early, but work until you reach each checkpoint on time. The five universal checkpoints for any project include:
Meet with the client, agree on a budget and address the expectations. If you need additional team members, this is a good time to gather coworkers to help.
Understand what you are trying to accomplish. Perform your initial research and use this step to prepare for action.
Make a list of the technical aspects of the project. For example, if you require a spreadsheet that can perform a specific task, in the design phase, you identify how to create it.
Put the design phase to work and create something you can use. This can be a product, service, program, application or system.
Present the project to the client.
According to Time Magazine, the average person checks their phone approximately 46 times per day. These constant distractions could be time spent working toward your goal. Turn off your phone, wear headphones, clear off your desk or find a remote corner to work until the job is done.
By meeting deadlines, you show clients or customers why they should bring repeat business your way.