Do you wait until deadlines are upon you before taking action?
If you’re like most, you probably wait until time is running out before starting those important tasks.
Yet, staying ahead of deadlines is a powerful productivity tactic that will make you more productive while reducing stress at the same time.
Today’s post is all about why you should never wait until the last-minute on your deadlines.
Deadlines or Guidelines?
It is interesting how numb most individuals (and companies) have become to deadlines.
Deadlines become extended deadlines. Final warnings become final final warnings. In general, things are not being accomplished, and to add insult to injury, the question is then pondered, “Why are my peers and competitors out-pacing me?”
It seems that “deadlines have become guidelines” rather than something to be taken seriously.
Yet, the answer is simple. Work needs to be done, and tasks completed on time. When deadlines are ignored, self-inflictied stress and additional work is created.
If you take your deadlines seriously, you will abide by the due dates promised. There are many benefits to this common sense approach. Not only will you get more done, but you will do so with less effort.
Here are 10 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Wait Until Deadlines:
- Reduce Stress – Deadlines looming over you cause stress. If you have ever sat in bed worrying about something that you haven’t completed, you know exactly that this is about. You create your own stress when you don’t meet deadlines.
- Deal with the Unexpected – Life has a way of throwing the unexpected at you, usually right before a deadline. If you wait until a due date is upon you, then you won’t have time to react when life throws a curveball. And while it is easy to use these “happenings” as an excuse, you won’t be in the situation if you finish ahead of time.
- It Feels Good to be Ahead – If being under a deadline is stressful, then being ahead of one… feels great. And it truly does. When you are ahead of schedule and ahead of due dates, you can enjoy your work more.
- Allows Time for Improvement – If you have ever rushed to finish a deliverable you know that you aren’t producing your best work. You may even still be working on it when you turn it in. However, if you finish ahead of a deadline, you will have time to revisit your work for improvements and corrections.
- Prevents Missed Opportunities – If you miss a deadline, you sometimes don’t get a second chance. Opportunities will pass you by and you won’t be able to take advantage of them.
- Avoids Penalties – Many deadlines have a penalty associated with them. It could be a late fee, or extra work required. Don’t impose these penalties upon yourself.
- Your Reputation – Everyone has a “time management reputation.” What does yours say about you? Are you the one that can be counted on to finish on time, or are you the person that everyone knows will be late in delivering?
- Frees Up Your Time and Mind – When you cross something off your list, you can also stop thinking about how you are going to complete it. Finishing ahead of deadlines frees up your mind and time to work on other things instead of endlessly worrying about that one late task.
- Allows You To Help Others – You should always do your own work before volunteering to helping another .(Otherwise, you are really making both of you unsuccessful…) When you finish early, you can then help others in need of assistance or guidance.
- Motivates You – Finishing early feels great. Let your positive momentum motivate you in other endeavors and areas of your life.
Taking Deadlines Seriously
Take your deadlines seriously, and ensure they are more than just guidelines in your daily work.
Staying ahead frees you up in many ways. Mentally, you will have less stress, and more brainpower at your disposal. Time-wise you will have more time to concentrate on your important tasks instead of working on a fire drill that you created.
Take a look at your to-do list and identify which deadline you need to get ahead of today.
Question: Do you finish ahead of your deadlines? What would you need to change in order to meet your due dates? You can leave a comment by clicking here.