Business Automation, Insightly CRM, Time management

Are Your Deadlines Managing You? 7 Tips to Take Back Control

You’ve been there – an ever growing to-do list, unexpected delays, meetings that went too long – all the while that looming deadline is hanging heavily over your head. Constantly working to meet yet another deadline can be daunting, leaving you overly stressed and frustrated. But what if you could make your deadlines work for you? Rather than being restrictive, deadlines can actually be a source of motivation, moving you forward towards your goals. Deadlines can also help you manage your time, keep your projects on track and help you stay focused on the right priorities. Instead of letting your deadlines manage you, here are a few tips for making deadlines work:

1. Write it Down

Make sure you keep a running list of projects with deadlines. As soon as you are given an assignment, write it down. Whether you use an old-school planner, an online calendar or a CRM like Insightly that sends you reminders and status updates, make sure you record what the project entails and when it is due.

2. Clarify Details and Due Dates

Make sure that you understand the scope of the project and have set clear expectations and deadlines. A due date of “sometime next week” is easy to miss, whereas “Thursday morning at 9:00 am” is much more clear, and much more likely to be met. If deadlines are not solid, neither is your ability to meet them.

3. Give Yourself Some Flexibility

When you start a project, make sure you have a hard deadline for completion. However, you may also want to set an earlier, or soft deadline, for yourself. Then as unexpected delays or other projects come up, you will still have your assignment finished before the due date.

4. Divide and Conquer

Break your project down into smaller steps with a starting and ending date for each part. Don’t forget to build in steps for communication, edits and approvals. Then go to work! Start with the first step and work to complete it by the assigned end date. As you complete each part, move to the next step. Smaller pieces are easier to accomplish, and as you check off each one you will stay more motivated to complete the whole project. Meeting small deadlines can also ensure that you’ll stay on target to make your final deadline.

5. Be Realistic

Don’t over promise and then underdeliver – to yourself or to anyone else. When setting up a project and interim deadlines, make sure you allow yourself enough time to complete each step. Before taking on new projects, review your current task list and honestly determine if you will be able to complete the work on time. In addition, make sure that you consider outside time commitments and plan for unexpected delays or emergencies.

6. Consider Others

You may be willing to work late to complete a project by tomorrow’s deadline, but others may not be able to. When setting deadlines, consider the other people who will be affected or who will contribute to the project. Make sure you allow enough time for them to complete their part and keep the project moving.

7. Get Help

Use business automations to manage your projects and deadlines so you can focus on completing your work. When projects are created in a CRM program, such as Insightly, all of your deadlines are managed for you. As soon as you set a pipeline in motion, your assignments are automatically added to your task list, deadlines are set, and progress is tracked. You can even assign tasks to other people. Each part of your project is broken down for you, and reminders are sent to keep you moving forward. Not sure where to start? An Insightly consultant can ask the right questions, help you to define processes and create pipelines that keep your projects moving.

Business Automation, to-do lists, deadlines

 

Are you ready to make your deadlines work for you? Let us help! Visit Business Made Simple today for a free 5-Minute automation assessment. We’ll help you manage deadlines that keep you motivated, focused and moving forward towards successfully reaching your goals.

 

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