17 Jan 5 Sure-Fire Ways To Never Miss A Deadline Again
Deadlines can be demanding. Many people lose sleep over missing them, meeting them, and getting things done on time. But it does not have to be this way!
Deadlines will benefit you and your business as long as you know how to meet them effectively. That’s why we have compiled a handy list of five key ways to help ensure you never miss a deadline again.
Plan In Advance
The most obvious — and some of the most effective — ways of ensuring that you meet a deadline relate to planning long in advance. At first, many deadlines may sound like they are far off in the distant future, but they should still be recorded and treated as if they are a pressing concern.
In advance of the deadline, list all the steps and stages that need to get done in order for the task to be completed. Then assign each one to a specific day or week to ensure that things are done step by step as the deadline approaches.
Make sure that you are leaving enough flexibility for things to overrun, or for other unexpected distractions and delays to pop up. Additionally, never plan right up to the final date or your schedule will easily be disrupted by even minor problems.
Break overall tasks down into smaller steps, achieve them one by one, and allow enough time for things to go wrong or to need clarifications, for example. By doing things this way, as the deadline approaches you will not feel overwhelmed by one enormous task, since you will have been making progress all along.
Use Reminder Cues
It can be easy to lose track of days and dates in the general busyness of life and business. This means that even if you have completed the work, sometimes you may miss the deadline by simply not paying attention!
You can help to ensure this doesn’t happen by using a variety of reminder cues. These might be visual, such as post-it notes or images, or digital, such as smartphone reminders, alarms, and more. However you choose to jog your memory, ensure that the date itself is clearly marked and highlighted.
This is especially important if there is not one single date involved, but multiple key dates for submissions and milestones. Get organised, get it in the calendar, and ensure you never lose track!
Hire A Professional
Professionals are powerful accountability partners when it comes to deadlines, as they are often experienced in guiding clients through the more complex aspects of deadlines such as planning, actioning, reviewing, submitting, and more.
Many businesses hire professional bid writers to ensure that their bids are not only powerful and persuasive, but delivered on time too. Others use accountants to make sure that their finances are fair, accurate, and submitted by the due date. Whichever professional you choose to hire, they can be a great help in meeting deadlines and achieving your business goals.
Automate Where Possible
Automation can be a powerful way to meet regular and recurring deadlines. They can be used for commitments such as payments, invoicing, accounts, and more.
Important emails can also be written in advance of a deadline and scheduled to send on a certain date, for example. This is especially popular for those conscious of emailing personnel after hours or at the weekend, but who still want to ensure that the message arrives promptly at the beginning of the next workday.
Consider which important aspects of your business recur – or occur on a regular basis – and decide whether they could be automated or optimised so that you always meet your deadlines without having to lift a finger.
One often overlooked way to ensure that you meet a deadline is to schedule yourself a reward for afterwards! The reward can be as big or as small as we like — from a hot bath or a coffee, to a special trip or some time off.
Studies show that rewards not only help us to stay more positive and motivated during a long process, but also that we are more likely to meet deadlines in order to earn the reward too.
Consider your next deadline and make a game of it! Have a reward for yourself planned at the end, or perhaps a series of small rewards for when you meet your mini-milestones.
With a positive approach and some careful forward planning, you need never miss a deadline again!