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How to nail your deadline every time

We all know the stress deadlines come with. It’s a struggle for lots of us, be it students, employees or employers. Everyone has deadlines they need to keep in mind. All these deadlines can lead us to lose track of what work we should be doing, creating disorder and resulting in mistakes or missed deadlines.

To help you cope with these deadlines we listed some simple hacks that help you nail your deadlines every time.

Know your limits

Be realistic in setting goals for yourself. There is only so much you can achieve in time so it’s important to know your limits in order not to burn out.

Break up large projects into smaller tasks

Large projects can be intimidating which is why it’s important to break those up into bite-sized chunks of work. This way you can slowly progress your project by working on one small task at a time.

Know where you’re going

Make up a plan for every task you get (unless it’s a routine task in which case a standardized plan should already be applied). You need to know what the specifics are and what you want your output to look like. Therefore having a plan on what you want to achieve is a must for getting your deadlines right.

Get rid of distractions

The best way to achieve your deadlines is to focus and really get the work done. Find out where and when you’re most productive and use that to your advantage.

Work on one task at a time

Another way to make the work you do matter more is to stop multitasking. Our brains are not wired to think about multiple things at once and doing this will only slow you down. Instead set a time to work on each task and commit 100% to working on that task.

Do the work

Planning is great and definitely a necessary step to achieving your deadlines but at some point you just have to start doing the actual work. Once you start on a task it will become more clear to you. We all know there is nothing worse than staring at an empty document.

Schedule in buffer time

Projects don’t always go as planned. Therefore it’s a good idea to schedule in time for unexpected problems or creative blocks. That way you don’t have to stress too much when you’re not being productive. In case you don’t have problems it’s even better because now you have extra time!

Work on a basic version to perfect later

You can barely start something and finish it perfectly in one sitting. Sometimes it’s a good idea to just start by drafting a basic version and perfecting it later. Make sure to leave some time in between  so you can look at your work with a fresh mindset.

Stick to your planning

Parkinson’s law states that a task will take as long as you set it out to do. Which is why you need to schedule fixed blocks of time to work on every task and actually stick to it. It creates a sense of urgency that encourages to continue working on your task instead of drifting away into your thoughts.

List your deadlines

Create an overview of all your deadlines so that you can follow the progress you make. It’s a great way to remind yourself on the work you have to do and what you have achieved already. It’s also incredibly motivating to scratch out tasks!

Set your own deadlines

Set up deadlines for things you want to achieve yourself. This is an essential step when you’re working on a one-deadline project to assure you’re still progressing and not postponing or simply forgetting the work. Besides many small wins lead to the large victory.

Set soft deadlines

A soft deadline is a deadline before the actual deadline when you want the work to be finished. This way you still have some time to look over your end results before actually handing it in. Your soft deadline is basically when you want the basic version to be finished so you can add the finishing details.

We all want to achieve great things. In order to do that we have to put in the work. We hope our tips nudge you into the right direction to achieve your goals. Now, go get ‘em!

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