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The Importance of a Deadline

02/17/2012 Adrienne N. Hester

Hourglass"I never miss a deadline." One statement I have been proud to say throughout my career. Deadlines are important and must be taken seriously. It is a way to show you, the boss, co-workers/team, and client the task at hand is a priority and you respect every person's time. There is an old saying I try to live by 'Lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part.' Don't be the link in the chain that is broken due to the absence of time management.

Staying on top of your work is easy by following a few steps:

  • Be Honest with Yourself. Can you complete the work in the time allotted with your current schedule? If not, say so and ask to extend the deadline.
  • Do Not Delay. Nothing is worse than having to rush because you waited until the last minute to get started. Make an appointment with yourself to work on the project a little each day.
  • Maintain High Standards for Your Work. Meeting a deadline doesn't mean much if the work presented is flawed. You were given the assignment for a reason. Keep consistency.
  • Let Others Help You Be Successful. Task out items that do not require your expertise. I learned a long time ago to do what I do well and pass along the rest. This will loosen up your workload and help minimize unnecessary stress.
  • Communication is Key. Stay connected with the team. Check in with people to give and get updates to make sure all are on the same page and on time. Not talking is self-sabotage.
  • Stay Organized with Constant Reminders. Write down each step on a desktop calendar, place post it notes in your work area, and add milestones to your Outlook, Gmail and mobile phone calendars.
  • Beat the Deadline. If your target date is two or three weeks or a month away, try to finish ahead of schedule. This will allow for time apart from the job to refresh your mind and make any needed changes.

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