Overcome Distractions and Meet Deadlines FasterReading Time: 4 minutes
Do you frequently find yourself browsing your “For You” page on TikTok while you should be working instead? Don’t worry, a lot of people share the same struggle.
There are plenty of reasons why people procrastinate. Some might be indecisive about which task to tackle the first; they put off making a decision and end up failing at meeting deadlines. Others might just be perfectionists. Turns out that perfectionists are so afraid of failure; they will often end up putting off their tasks, not taking any action at all. Sometimes we procrastinate because we’re overwhelmed with the number of tasks on our to-do list; the anxiety crushes us and prevents us from meeting deadlines.
If you recognize yourself along these lines, there’s no reason to worry. We’re going to share a few useful tips on meeting deadlines and staying productive at all times.
Use a Pomodoro technique.
Pomodoro technique is a super-efficient way that can help us meet deadlines and work more efficiently. This technique means we should work continuously on the task for 25 minutes and take five-minute breaks in-between them.
Pomodoro is so effective since it allows us to be fully concentrated on a task for a determined period without fearing; our attention will be scattered around doing other things.
Feel free to check out our free tool, Doropomo, which will help you track time efficiently.
Make to-do lists.
To-do lists are one of the most efficient ways we can ensure we always meet deadlines. If you’re not sure how to start with it, here’s an idea.
You can make a list of tasks a week or night before and break bigger ones into smaller, more manageable chunks. In the morning, make sure to do the easiest ones and write them down in a special column for finished tasks.
Once you see that you achieved something early on in the day, you’ll be more energized to tick the remaining tasks off your list and effortlessly meet your deadlines.
Even though you might not see it, exercise is directly related to our productivity levels, and it can help us meet deadlines faster. When we exercise, we improve our blood flow and increase the amount of oxygen in our brains. This makes us more alert and enables us to think more clearly. Furthermore, exercise can help us increase our energy levels, combat stress more efficiently, and make us happier since our body increases the secretion of “feel-good hormones” during exercise.
That said, if you struggle with meeting your deadlines, feel like your productivity is on the lower end, make sure to include at least a 30-minute workout session in your daily routine.
Set a routine.
Many of us switched to remote work this year. And even though remote work comes with a wide variety of benefits, it might also make us less productive. Since we work from home, this means we don’t have to get dressed for work, and we might be tempted to make routine changes that may harm our productivity.
When we don’t have a pattern to follow, our brain becomes stressed and anxious since the lack of structure signals unpredictability. All of this can lead to procrastination and decreased productivity.
With this being said, we understand how setting up a routine becomes crucial in our daily functioning. For this reason, make sure to wake up every day at the same hours, lose your pajamas once you wake up, get dressed in comfy clothes that will signal your brain you’ve entered the “work mode,” make your morning coffee or tea and avoid working from your bed.
Tackle the things you dread doing first.
Are you familiar with the expression “eat the frog”? When we say it, we usually mean we should tackle the hardest tasks first to avoid feeling anxious about their completion.
And it’s true. When we finish something we don’t like first thing in the morning, we are more likely to feel a sense of self-accomplishment. What’s more, everything we do afterward will feel easier. That said, we can easily see how tackling the most dreadful tasks in the morning is an efficient deadline-busting habit regardless of the project you’re working on.
Most of us are forced to multitask daily since our lives’ tempo forces us to do so. However, if we want to be productive and meet deadlines faster, multitasking isn’t a way to go.
When we multitask, we reduce our productivity levels by 40 percent since our attention is scattered around various things, and we’re unable to be fully committed to one single task, which ultimately decreases the quality of our work. If you frequently struggle to meet deadlines, make sure to think about how much you multitask during the day, and break this habit.
Learn how to set priorities.
Prioritizing is an important part of meeting deadlines since the workday can sometimes take an unusual turn, and we might end up having more things on our plate than we can handle.
In those cases, we’ll usually have to abandon the plans you had and tackle the most important tasks on your list. However, if you don’t know how to prioritize, you might end up stressing about which task to tackle first, become anxious and end up doing nothing.
To solve this situation successfully, make sure to assess the situation rationally. Align your tasks by importance, write them down, and start doing them by their priority.
This tactic shouldn’t become a rule but used only when meeting deadlines is impossible. We’re sure everyone was in a similar situation at least once during their working career and broke a deadline or two.
If we want to set another deadline for the unfinished task, we shouldn’t be silent about it. Instead, we should ensure to communicate this with a client or a team and let them know that we’re fully committed to finishing it. We should explain a reason for it, apologize, and make sure we don’t lose their trust.
A cat enthusiast and a cupcake maniac, Ana is a freelance Content Writer passionate about HR, productivity, and team management topics. When she’s not at her keyboard, you can find Ana in the kitchen, trying to make delicious cookies.