Thursday, October 17, 2013

5 Tips for meeting Deadlines

Everyone has to deal with deadlines. When you were in school, you had homework assignments and long-term projects. In the world of work Deadlines are very important. To a designer it makes or breaks your reputation. You are as good as the work you present to your client, good work goes hand in hand with meeting your deadlines.

Here are some tips to help you succeed with meeting deadlines.

1. Stay Organized


If there's one sure way to miss a deadline, it's to completely forget about it. If you have a complicated schedule with lots of deadlines, meetings and projects going on, it's essential that you keep a calendar with all your deadline dates on it.  In today's society the use of your smartphone, tablet or laptop can help keep things on track.

2. Don't Procrastinate


 If a deadline is two weeks (or two months) away, it can be hard to get started during the first week. There's no sense of urgency. Procrastination might actually be the hardest thing to overcome. Luckily, the solution is pretty simple. All you have to do is break a project down into smaller parts, and then create a schedule that lets you complete each part at different points in the time leading up to the final deadline.

3.  Delegate Smaller Tasks

You rarely have to complete a work project alone. If you have access to someone who is especially good at some aspect of the project, don't be too proud to let them get it done. As a friend or family member to help you type or research the project. A friend with a camera can assist with photos, another friend might be skilled with proof reading etc. Whatever the project, there is always someone you can call on for assistance. The moral of the story: It's easier to get things done when you have help.


4. Use a Soft Deadline


You might have everything planned and scheduled . Unexpected events can derail even the most solid plan. You can't plan for every possibility, so the best defense is a deadline cushion. If it's a two-week deadline, plan to have it done two days early. A two-month project could use a five-day cushion. Plan for the un expected. The more uncertainty built into your project, the larger your cushion should be.

5. Don't Promise the World.

Some deadlines are non-negotiable, but you usually have the most leeway to move a deadline around before it's been set. Don't take on a two-week task with a one-week deadline unless you're really sure you can get it done. And if your plate is already full, don't hesitate to say no. You just need to be aware of your capabilities and be reasonable about what you can accomplish. It's far better to be upfront about expectations than to fail to meet them later.