Do you sometimes wonder, how your career role models or some of your colleagues seem to make keeping their deadlines appear to be a piece of cake, while you are under time pressure most of the time? The good news - there are studies proving that most of people only reach peak productivity under time pressure. Your colleagues obviously fall in the same category. That they keep their cool while doing it and don’t let stress get the best of them is likely due to some sound principles, which they are following. Read on to find out all about those.
1. Don’t be afraid to say „No”. You have enough tasks for two, but because you are such a model employee, your boss wants to give you yet another one. If you agree to it on the spot, you’ll probably make a big mistake as you won’t have any more time to accomplish all that is asked of you. It’s a better idea to politely decline and tell your boss about your lack of time. If he really wants you to take on the new task, he should first free you from some other one.
2. Find out what is exactly expected from you. What is the exact result that you have to reach? If the description isn’t clear enough for you and leaves you with further questions, ask them. It will help you determine whether you have enough time to take on the task and are able to meet the desired deadline. Keep your estimate realistic and don’t hold back, should you think that you need more time. At this point, the deadline might still be flexible and your opinion can be taken into consideration.
3. Write down all agreed dates. If you and your supervisor have reached an agreement about the final deadline, write it down somewhere, ideally in a place that you can always see. The simple fact that you can see the deadline marked in your calendar is already enough to boost your motivation.
4. Split up the task in several steps. You know the end result of your task and you know the timeframe you have at your disposal to reach it. Think about the task and split it up in smaller steps with their own deadlines. You set these for yourself. The good feeling you get from accomplishing each step will keep you going until you reach the desired goal.
5. Always plan for a buffer. According to an old saying, everything takes twice as much time as planned. Well, generally it won’t quite come to that, but unforeseen things can happen all the time. Plan accordingly and always leave room, so that these unforeseen events are accounted for.
And should it really happen that, despite your best planning, you can’t meet the agreed deadline, we advise you to tell your supervisor as soon as possible. Together, you can take all the necessary measures to minimize the negative impact.