I recently put together a presentation on dealing with deadlines. . .something that is inherent in day to day operations at Chris Geimer Design, and something we take seriously. We all have to deal with them at times. . .take a look.
Deadlines. . .(or “I need this yesterday”)
Chris Geimer – WIN Business Tips
Deadlines can be tools to help get things done or they can be stress generators. Know your personality and be realistic about how you work most effectively. Are you a procrastinator? A “get it done ahead of time or I can’t sleep” type of person? Build your deadline strategies with a realistic assessment of what your strengths and weaknesses are in scheduling and meeting deadlines. Some tips to help you. . .
1. ORGANIZE Put your deadlines in one place, whether on a calendar, in your phone or a paper list. There are apps available, but whatever you use should be easy to view and access.
2. BREAK IT DOWN With a large project, instead of focusing on the final deadline or deliverable, break it down into smaller tasks, with separate deadlines. Is there something that can be handed off for someone else to get started on? With a plan, you can focus on Step #1, without feeling so overwhelmed.
3. CUSHION IT Build in a cushion to the deadline so that if the inevitable bump in the road comes along, you have a little time to regroup and still make the mark.
4. QUICK REVIEW If you can do a quick review of a project or task, even if you can’t work on it right away, you can catch things that might be missing or questions that need answering that may delay your completion of the task. Waiting until the last minute to discover these will mean guaranteed stress!
5. COMMUNICATE Review expectations with your client, including deadlines on both sides, to avoid misunderstanding and delays. Email makes it easy to demand quick turnarounds, so outreach is important to make sure everyone is on the same page.
6. DON’T SET YOURSELF UP TO FAIL Be honest! Can you realistically meet the deadline? Being honest about the schedule will be a win/win for you and a potential client, and most times there is room to negotiate.
7. CATCH 22 If you commit to a deadline that is above usual expectations, it should be made at a higher value. This could mean charging a rush charge, or come with the expectation that additional work will follow that will be in line with your regular business guidelines. Just be clear with client so that the last minute jobs don’t become the expectation. Coming through at the last minute can make you a valuable asset, but in most cases, you don’t want it to be your profile.
8. WHATEVER IT TAKES Once committed to a deadline, do whatever it takes to meet it. Stay up late, hire some help, pull out all the stops! The customer will ALWAYS remember that one time you didn’t meet the deadline.