Meeting the deadline goes hand-in-hand with delivering quality output. If you are pressed for time, it can either make or break your career. However, there are few secrets on how to make meeting due dates a breeze.
- On the onset of the assignment, everything should be clear to you. Don't hesitate to ask questions, make suggestions, clarifications and/or confirm details that seem uncertain. It would be beneficial for you and your boss if you inquire about anything that is vague from the start instead of later on. He would think highly of you for the kind of concern you have for the job. Hence, keep in mind that making inquiries is not an excuse.
- Upon getting the assignment, make a habit of jotting it down. It doesn't matter if you want to use a hard copy or a soft copy as long as you don't just rely on your memory alone. Our brain can only keep a certain amount of data and at times because of too much information, we neglect the small details in our task, which in one way or the other, are most important. Having reference material is always important.
- Keep only one organizer or file folder for a specific project. If you plan on using an electronic device for alerts and other reminders, such as PDAs, take into account that there are advantages and disadvantages. If you are comfortable with the old school manual, then your personal journal or notebook will be sufficient.
- Upon getting an assignment, develop the habit of setting an earlier deadline automatically. This will cushion you later if there is certain information that needs revision and improvement.
- As mentioned, analyze and run through the task that is given. Find out if there is any pre-work that you need to do. Check if there are dependencies and if there are people that you need to talk to as well. If you need additional information from one of your colleagues, approach him or her the soonest possible time, so he or she will be able to give you the needed documents or reports in advance.
- Ensure that the things you will be using are in order or in good working condition. For example, if you plan on using your home printer, guarantee that it is working well or has available ink so you would be able to execute all your plans on that day.
- Last but not least, stick with your schedule and be responsible. Avoid procrastination and cramming since these bring about lower quality of output. If the deadline is already near and you are just halfway through with your task, seek assistance or better yet consult your boss. Your boss can either extend the deadline or worst, be mad at you but at least you already told him or her your dilemma.
All the strategies mentioned above can help you meet your deadlines at work. Additionally, remember to be objective so you will be able to deliver your task on time.