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Career Monday: A 5-Step Process to Turn a Deadline Into a Walk in the Park

Do you dread deadlines? If so, that feeling could be sending you into a state of inaction, causing you to miss your deadlines, which then increases your stress about them. It’s a vicious, self-perpetuating circle. Fortunately, there are things you can do to make it easier to meet those deadlines.

Try this process to turn missed deadlines into things of the past:

1. Set up your priorities. Determine which tasks are the most important. When you have deadlines, they usually speak for themselves on what tasks need to be done first.

• If you’re having trouble with setting up your priorities, you may need to ask your supervisor which tasks are more important than others.

2. Design your schedule around your priorities. When you streamline your schedule, you’ll ensure that you have the time to complete your projects on time. Divide larger projects into steps and include adequate time in your schedule for each step. Then, stick to your plan!

• Limit your obligations to keep from becoming overwhelmed or overcrowding your schedule.

• You might need to turn down offers from well-intentioned friends in order to keep to your deadline schedule.

• There might also be times in which you need to call in family, friends, or coworkers to ensure that you have the time free from other responsibilities in order to get the job duties completed. Don’t be afraid to ask for help or delegate some tasks when you need to.

3. Make a daily to-do list of what tasks need to be done each day and at what time. Compile your list either the night before or at the beginning of your day. Use a notebook or pad that you can fit conveniently next to your keyboard on your desk. Don’t make it too big or it will create clutter and lead to distractions throughout the day.

• Follow your list religiously and check off items when they’re completed. This will give you a feeling of accomplishment and motivate you to stay on track.

4. Take breaks and stay nourished. You might feel that you don’t have time for breaks, but these breaks in your workday actually enable you to get more done, which helps you to stay on schedule.

• Get up and stretch or take a walk to keep your blood circulating. A short break rejuvenates both your mind and body so you can make renewed headway on your tasks.

• Take the time to eat a nourishing meal so you have the energy to do your work effectively. However, a heavy meal will make you feel tired and lethargic, so keep it light and nutritious for best results.

5. Rely on your dedication and determination. Dedication and determination are key factors in performing any duty that you undertake. Work on developing these traits in order to move through your day at a practical pace. Finish the tasks that need to be completed before you call it a day so you don’t have to start out the next day already behind.

Meeting your deadlines is important to your success at work. Practice this process to make meeting your deadlines easy and you’ll never have to worry about missing them again.

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HR Girlfriends™ is a Human Resources networking organization dedicated to advancing the practice and culture of people empowerment. Our team of Girlfriends consult, train, educate, develop, share, promote, and advocate for solutions in the field of human resource management.

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