Techniques to help you meet deadlines at work
By Lou Belcher
Meeting deadlines is an important attribute in an employee. If you have difficulty managing your workload, it would be good to employ some techniques to help you meet deadlines at work.
Here are some ways to ensure you meet your deadlines:
- Take a good hard look at your work habits. Are you using your time wisely? Are you chatting with co-workers? Are you working only on projects you like and having to rush to complete the others? Are there too many interruptions? Analysing what is hindering you in trying to meet deadlines is an important beginning.
- Next, rearrange your schedule and work habits to get more work done. Set a schedule that will help you be productive and let others in the workplace know that you need some uninterrupted work time.
- Recognise the importance of meeting deadlines. Usually your boss will give you a deadline for a reason. Even if the deadline is arbitrary, it is important for you to meet it. Why? It's important because meeting the deadline for a work assignment tells your boss that you are responsible. It tells him/her that you do not need close supervision.
- Approach each work assignment individually. If a work assignment is large, divide it into manageable parts.
- Based on the amount of time before your deadline, establish due dates for each part of the assignment. Write due dates on the calendar for reference.
- Check your calendar each day to determine what parts of your work assignments are coming due. Set priorities and work on the ones that are due first.
- If you don't meet one of your mini-deadlines, don't let it slide. Immediately re-work your calendar to redistribute your work.
- If you have multiple work assignments, repeat the process for each of them.
- If you know with certainty that you will not meet your deadline on a particular work assignment, it's best to tell your boss early on, rather than waiting until the due date. That way, your boss will be able to assign another person to the job to help you. Your boss will rather do that, and meet his/her deadline for the assignment, than to be surprised by your failure to meet your deadline when it is too late for him/her to do anything about it.
Remember that when looking at your workload, it is important to meet your deadlines and the quality of your work is important as well. Don't let the work slide to the last minute. If you do, you may have to sacrifice quality work for meeting the deadline.
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