“I love deadlines. I love the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.”
~ Douglas Adams
Did that quote hit a little too close to home? Here are some quick tips to help you make the most of your work-day and maybe hear less of that whooshing sound.
Act, don’t reactBe proactive! It takes less time to prevent problems than to try and solve them. Think through every task before you start, and try to anticipate difficulties and make fallback plans. The best part? You can get a computer to do most of the work! Ensure you have systems in place to remind you of upcoming tasks and meetings, and to alert you when action is required.
PrioritizeLet’s be honest: not everything is going to get done. Managing your time effectively will ensure that the most important tasks are completed first and on time. Take ten minutes at the start of your day to look at your task list and figure out which deadlines are flexible, and what the consequences will be for not completing a task on time. Focus on what is most pressing, and what will have the biggest impact on your relationship with clients and your overall business objectives.
Understand Your SoftwareWhen you have a to-do list the length of your arm, you might not feel like playing around with computer programs. But learning as much as possible about your company’s tools and software will allow you to get the most benefit from them. Take an hour whenever you can to experiment – chances are you will discover at least one new feature to save time and improve your performance.
CollaborateYou can’t be good at everything – that’s why you have a team! It’s great to solve problems independently, but not if you miss deadlines. Don’t hesitate to ask for help or use teamwork to get things done faster and more effectively. If a task is keeping your team from focusing on the main business objectives, make sure to look at your options and know when to outsource. Using the skills of the people around you is just as effective as having the skills yourself.
What would you add to this list? Which tips and tricks help you meet deadlines?
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