Have you ever had that spine-chilling, nerve-wracking feeling when your boss set an unrealistic deadline on a project or task? I guess most of us do. Who wouldn't be? Form the word dead and line, no one would be thrilled with it.
Deadline means stress. A survey conducted by CareerCast shows that more than 30% of the respondents chose deadline as their biggest cause of stress. Many factors can be linked to why deadline scores the highest. Mainly it’s because of the fear of not meeting the deadline, and the pressure it brings while working on a tight schedule.
As much as we hate deadlines, it is a part of our job. All we need are solutions that will help us beat deadlines without stressing ourselves too much.
1. Leave procrastination behind.
Do you know that putting off work until the deadline doesn’t only cause you stress? It can also kill your brain cells, lessens creativity, and can affect your health. Procrastination is one of our biggest enemies in beating a deadline. There are countless reasons why we procrastinate. Sometimes, we even found ourselves more focused to work when the deadline is almost over. Nevertheless, putting off work may disrupt your other schedule and you’ll find yourself working non-stop to get it all done.
2. Evaluate what’s needed to be done.
Before getting yourself caught up with the task, make sure to break down the task down to its smallest steps. Ask yourself what are the things that needed to be done? If you need to coordinate with other departments or not. List down each step you need to do including the approximate time you can finish it.
Doing a task without knowing the steps first would not help in beating the deadline. It can only make it worse. It’s like going hiking without a map or a compass.
3. Take breaks.
Do not be afraid to take breaks in between work. Some people are afraid to take even a 15-minute break in the fear of not being able to finish their tasks on time. A study shows a contradiction of the latter. It shows that workers who take breaks are more alert and productive since their bodies were able to rejuvenate.
Take a break that will refresh both your mind and body. Stretch, breathe, or socialize with your coworkers. A few minutes away from work won’t hurt, instead, it will boost you physically and mentally.
4. Let go of perfectionism.
No one is perfect. Knowing you did your best and work hard with the task given to you is already good enough. There may be revisions, however, do not beat yourself because of it. Learning doesn’t end in the four corners of the classroom, it goes on every day. Consider every mistake as a learning process. Do not spend your time aiming for perfection or you might miss the fun out of it.