Your competitors are striving to meet their deadlines – will you meet yours? It’s important to set realistic deadlines and make sure you meet them in order to succeed in business. Whether an in-person referral or an online rating site, one thing that will consistently bring in good reviews is when deadlines are kept. Here are five tips to help make setting and meeting deadlines a little easier.
Life happens. It’s important to recognize that things don’t always go as planned. In addition to having a “Plan B,” make sure to allow for delays when setting or agreeing to a deadline. If no obstacles occur then the project is one step closer to being completed ahead of schedule.
Make A List
Prioritize any existing workload to ensure that new projects can be completed in the required timeframe. Listing current projects with their deadlines will also provide a sense of how much time is available for additional work, or if projects need to be rearranged in order to complete them on time. Check it twice to make sure nothing is missed.
Plan Your Time
Once a list of projects and deadlines is completed, allow for procrastination. Some jobs are more exciting or fulfilling than others and the more tedious or uninteresting an assignment is, the more it will stall. Recognizing the likelihood of delays is often overlooked, but it can devastate a project plan.
Review Your Work
Rushing to complete work due to a looming deadline causes errors that can damage the reputation of everyone involved. Leave room in the timetable for editing and refinement. Reviewing, proofreading, correcting and finalizing add extra time that needs to be considered in each deadline.
When It’s Over
The sense of accomplishment driven by a project completed on time is substantial, but whether completed on time or not, remember to learn from the experience. Each deadline kept will help determine if future jobs need more time added to the deadlines or if a quicker deadline can be offered in subsequent situations. It’s always better to under-promise and over-deliver, but if everything else is equal a shorter timeframe may be the deciding factor in who gets the project.
Have a story of deadlines gone wrong or about overcoming procrastination to meet a deadline? Share your experience in the comments below:
About the Author
Sharon Mostyn has more than 25 years of experience in traditional and online marketing. A Google-certified marketing professional, Sharon can be found speaking on analytics, email, ecommerce, social media and integrated marketing. Her blog, Motherhood, Marketing and Medical Mayhem, contains marketing insights integrated with everyday life. Follow Sharon on Twitter and SlideShare, or join her as she moderates #SMChat, a social media chat on Twitter, held Wednesdays at 1PM ET.