Running late again? Here's how to beat the deadline

19 November 2021

Meet a deadline or unless you’re dead meat. This external pressure is what gets people moving, putting their minds in overdrive to finish a task at the very last moment with just minutes before the deadline. 

You could already imagine that this doesn’t always work in a cramer's favor. It might put you in a tight spot, a pickle that’s hard to get out of. Even the most experts of procrastinators know this: working efficiently reaps better results. It allows the doer to finish a task early and to enjoy life as much as possible without unfinished work on the back of their minds. 

But since the rise of remote work, more and more people have struggled to meet deadlines. Completely getting rid of distractions and focusing 100% at work are both easier said than done. So we’re not here to preach what to practice in your work life, but just to help with time management for you to meet those deadlines. Most likely, in a corporate set-up, someone is relying on your output so that they could do their part of the work. Be a team player and don’t miss your deadlines by following these tips: 

1. Make your own home office station.

The first step is to choose a spot at your home that you will use for work. Not having an area set for your work would make it easier for you to doze off in your bed or just watch TV the whole day on your living room couch. Pick an area that is far from the bed or the sofa and has good lighting. 

After securing your location, the second step is to invest in ergonomic furniture. FlexiSpot is one ergonomic furniture company that carries standing desks and standing desk converters to help lessen the deadly risks of prolonged sitting, improve your back posture, and help you work with more efficiency. The brand also offers a massage gaming chair that promises a luxurious sitting experience with support for the neck, back, arms, and butt. It may need initial investment but something worth spending your money on because it will help improve your work and meet deadlines in the long run. 

A clean, clutter-free workstation also helps clear the mind, saves you the hassle of looking for a lost item and makes you focus on the task at hand. Install storage solutions on your desk to make maintaining its cleanliness easier and hassle-free. 

2. Write down small, manageable tasks to not get overwhelmed with big projects. 

Follow an everyday to-do list that breaks down assignments into easily actionable steps. In this way, you would feel less overwhelmed and more fulfilled every time you tick off something on your list. Before the day ends, you would most likely have completed all your tasks.

The ABCDE method is tried and tested to help you meet deadlines. First, write your tasks on a whiteboard or in your work journal then put a priority label on each of your tasks. A is for work that must be completed within the next day, B is for work that has to be done but isn’t necessarily time-sensitive, C is for non-urgent work that will make you feel fulfilled and D is for work that you can delegate for others to do. 

Another method to beat the deadline is to choose just two things to do in a day, one big and one small. If you know you are someone who struggles to manage time properly, it’s much better if you lower your expectations and be more realistic in what you could do in a day. Being honest with yourself and colleagues will make you feel more accomplished and more motivated to work the next day. 

3. Schedule your day. 

Provide time blocks for each activity you will do for the day. If you don’t have an idea how long a task will last, take note of how long you did it in your first time so that you’ll know the next time. Take this into account when you’re writing a schedule. Do not forget to add work breaks because those are important to have a clearer head and a recharged mindset to finish all of your tasks for the day. 

4. Be flexible with your set schedule and allot time for a crisis. 

Those who struggle to beat the deadlines usually have a problem with control. Being able to manage your time properly starts with an acceptance that you can’t control everything and not all of it will go along your way. It helps to think about all the worst-case scenarios even before you start so you already have planned courses of action when you encounter them. 

This is another reason why working before deadlines is a much better option. But since you’re already here, you should always prepare for the worst and allot time if a crisis occurs. In this way, you will still be able to meet your precious deadline with flying colors. 

5. Just do the most difficult and daunting task first. 

We all have that one task we are putting off to do and we allow it to pull us down the whole day. Get it off your chest and tackle it first. It won’t do itself and the stress will stay unless you finish it. Just think of the productive day you’ll have as soon as this task is done. We guarantee you that the rest of the day will feel easy, or at least lighter, for you. 

6. Avoid multitasking. 

The worst thing you do for your mind is to engage with a lot of overthinking and multitasking. Doing multiple tasks at the same time is counterproductive at its best. You would have a bigger tendency to lose focus and kill your productivity. A better way to finish tasks and meet deadlines for a hassle-free life is to give your best on one activity at a time. 

7. Delegate tasks. 

Again, be honest with yourself if the tasks are too overwhelming already. Take a load off your chest by letting your superiors know your struggle. If you’re a boss, strive to distribute tasks equally and equitably. If you’re a remote worker and trying to beat a deadline, ask people in your household to take over your duties in the meantime.