I bet you know this feeling. Your heart heavy and mind enlightened – you missed that deadline and just now realize it – after it’s passed!
Every one of us has experienced it – and it’s O.K., we’re all humans after all. But sometimes failing an important deadline may cost you more than just this heavy-hearted feeling. In this article, I’ll cover the art of not missing deadlines – from possible causes to most effective solutions.
Why do you fail to meet deadlines?
There are as many reasons for not meeting the deadline as there are cases. Every business and every project faces different challenges. However, we can distinct 3 categories of possible causes for missing deadlines.
Some tasks are just so unpleasant we don’t want to do them. We procrastinate until the very last moment. Sometimes we just don’t see any purpose behind the task – and why should we do something that in our minds has no use?
Flawed time management
You may not even be aware of time management mistakes you make. The most common ones are:
The more complex your task is, the easier it is to overlook even significant obstacles in your time estimates. This is what can make your estimates inaccurate, then resulting in
Have you noticed the quotations mark? It’s there for a reason – multitasking does not exist. It’s simply skipping quickly from one task to another and not performing them all at once. It can be effective with manual, repetitive tasks such as home chores because it helps not to get bored. However, it can be detrimental for tasks that require your full attention and focus.
Lack of prioritization
We all know that in business everything is important and everything is urgent. However, in that case, nothing is neither urgent not important. Lack of prioritization may lead to spending too much time on insignificant tasks, and because time is a finite resource, you can run out of it before finishing what’s really important for your business.
Failing to make a to-do list
A to-do list is a crucial tool that helps you remember important tasks. Failing to plan your day in advance can cause you to forget tasks that you may not have time to complete the next day.
Lack of consequences
If the deadline is not real in your and your employees’ eyes, and there are no consequences if it’s not met, no one will take it seriously, and no one will complete delegated tasks.
How to prevent missing deadlines?
It all comes down to time management. Here are a few techniques that may prove useful in planning your tactics against exceeding deadlines.
Set realistic deadlines
Try to base your time estimates on real data – this will help to ensure that your projects are delivered on time. The best way to gather time data is time tracking. One of the best ways to start time tracking is to try TimeCamp’s 30-day free trial.
Delegate and automate
Big tasks are nothing more but set of smaller tasks you can delegate to members of your team. You can also improve your team members’ productivity by taking repetitive tasks off their heads through automation.
Distinguish the vital, urgent and important
In other words – prioritize. Choose what are the most important things to get done in a project and for the set deadline, and those that would greatly improve your project, but you can do without them. Then, make some room in your schedule and your team’s workload for the urgencies that will occur in the project lifecycle.
Make time management your team’s habit
Make sure that every day every team member knows what they’re responsible for and what they’re working on. They need to know the purpose of their work and they need to know specific tasks they are responsible for. Make sure to adjust the workload to your team members’ capabilities to avoid the crunch. Moreover, train your team members to plan their work in order for them to be much more productive.
To sum it up…
Even though it happens to everyone, failing to meet deadlines can be detrimental to your business. Are you using methods described in this article to deliver your project on time? Maybe you have some other ways to manage your team’s time? Don’t hesitate to share them in the comments down below!