Today, we’re talking deadlines. Are you setting deadlines for yourself or others as we get ready for the end of the year?
If so, make sure you aren’t making any of these common mistakes.
1 – Being unrealistic.
The No. 1 way to mess up majorly on your own deadline is to be totally unrealistic with yourself or your team members. Deadlines are important, and I swear by them for almost any project. But you can’t just slap any old date on a project and call it a deadline.
Think about the requirements of the project or the goal. How long has it taken you to achieve something similar in the past? If you know it usually takes you six months to complete a similar project, a deadline in thirty days probably isn’t reasonable unless a lot has changed.
Set realistic – but not too easy – deadlines for yourself and your team, and you’ll feel much better.
2 – Not checking in.
It can be really tempting to say, “Here’s the goal. We’re going to achieve it in six months. See ya later.” Both to yourself and to a team!
Avoid that. Set benchmarks as you go for specific kinds of work.
For big projects at work, I like to build a calendar and set specific deadlines for each step in a project and make sure everyone knows what they are. Then, my boss and I can check in with each party who’s responsible for each task on the deadline and see where we’re at. It takes away that end of project scramble to get everything done!
3 – Not communicating or keeping track of your deadline.
The minute you set a deadline, write that bad boy down!
Otherwise, there is a 100 percent chance you are going to forget about it. Write it down in your planner, hang a sticky note on your monitor, scream it from the rooftops. Whatever you do, make sure you and all people responsible for working on the project know when the deadline is.
If you’re on a team, I recommend shared Google Calendars (or whatever calendar system you use). You can’t do the work for other people, but you can remove all potential obstacles to forgotten deadlines.