The ability or inability of an entrepreneur (and a whole startup team) to meet deadlines says a lot about their professionalism. The high quality of the work is essential, but so is the ability to complete projects on time.
Deadlines can be intimidating, especially when the project is urgent and the time is scarce. These 10 essential tips will help you conquer every deadline and get the job done on time. Embrace them and you will accept with confidence the next project that you have to complete in short time.
- Take the decision to care about deadlines – even if you have to break a life-long habit of always being late to complete projects on time. Embrace the mindset of a person who cares about deadlines and act the way such a person would act when they begin a project.
- Keep a deadline calendar – organize your projects in a specific calendar and strictly follow it.
- Accept projects with reasonable deadlines – don’t agree to take up projects with unreasonable deadlines. Accepting to commit to an unreasonable deadline is a decision that leads to failure.
- Schedule the deadline three days earlier – or even a week earlier. This will give a sense of urgency, but also a sense of comfort, knowing that you will have enough time to evaluate in the end.
- Break down the project – and have a clear plan of when each step starts and when it finishes.
- Start from the part that appeals to you the most – once you have broken down the project on parts, you have the opportunity to choose where to begin from. The choice depends on your personal preferences – it is up to you if you will start from the most challenging part or from the part that is easier.
- Prioritize – when you work on many projects at once, it is important to start with the one that has the highest priority.
- Commit to completion than to perfection – focus on finishing the project on time but use your time wisely. Once you have come to an end at a reasonable time, you will have the ability to go over the project and make it perfect.
- Delegate. Or ask for help – this is the best decision you can make if you feel like you are about to miss an important deadline. Delegate parts of the project to your team or ask for help from other professionals – there is nothing wrong with it. Get rid of the mindset that you should do everything by yourself.
- Don’t panic! – this is the most important part: don’t let panic distract you. In stressful situations, it is very easy to give in to panic, yet this will lead you to nowhere. If you are missing a deadline, try to stay focused and get to work. Panicking is just making things worse than they should be.