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Meeting Deadlines: One Step Ahead - Avoiding Missed Deadlines

Jul 12, 2008
Are you constantly missing deadlines on projects at home, work or school? This article will provide you with three tips for meeting deadlines so you'll never be late on your projects again. Specifics may vary from person to person; however, the following information includes helpful and important guidelines from which everyone can benefit.

Anticipate challenges that can lead to missed project deadlines

If you've worked on projects where deadlines are present you've likely been tripped up and frustrated by the sometimes unexpected curve balls that can cause you to miss your deadline. It could be an untimely phone call or a co-worker may need your help. So many things can eat away at the time you've set aside for yourself! Certainly, there are a myriad of reasons why the completion of a project might miss its intended target date. The key is to anticipate some of the more likely things that can go wrong. With that in mind, here are three potential scenarios to be on the lookout for so that you can stay ahead and be consistent in meeting deadlines:

Meeting Deadlines: Miscalculating the scope of the project. Let's say the boss has asked you to create a report summarizing the sales results of the Midwest region for the months of May, June and July, and you need to have the report completed in 2 days. No problem, right? Except that you forgot that the Midwest region was actually doubled in size 4 months ago when a whole new division was added. The bottom line is, before beginning a project take a close look at the project as a whole - ensuring yourself that you've covered all the possible bases before moving toward meeting your deadline.

Meeting Deadlines: Relying on the timeliness of other people. In completing the sample project above, you may need to depend on someone else to provide some information. For example, maybe a sales administrator needs to give you the latest, most accurate numbers for the total sales of a particular product, and you've asked them to supply the information within hours...which is not an unreasonable request since all the data is already in their computer. The point here is: always keep in mind that although for the most part you can typically count on co-workers to respond to your needs, they may not be as time-motivated as you because the project is not their ultimate responsibility. Tip: in an email, be sure to reiterate the time-sensitive nature of your request, and ask them to reply back that they indeed will meet your two-hour turnaround.

Meeting Deadlines: Forgetting that there will be revisions and corrections. Almost no project goes through completely unscathed, with zero changes or updates. Build the time needed to make the revisions and corrections into the completion time for your project. Remember, your boss will probably not differentiate between the first draft of a project and its final version...he or she is really only interested in when the project is finished, revisions and all.
About the Author
Sharon Mann is President of the I Hate Filing Club, a group of nearly 100,000 office professionals who hate filing but love finding new ways to become more organized. There are several Pendaflex products that can help you with meeting deadlines. Visit our website for details.
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