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Getting Things Done: A Guide to Hitting Deadlines

By Josh Spaccarotella:

Hitting deadlines is a must in any industry. When it comes to marketing and advertising, launch dates are critical because they have a huge effect on who you reach and when you reach them. This, in turn, can affect the outcome of a campaign. Every industry is changing daily with new technology and new methods, so you must be able to anticipate, act, and react. Most of the time, deadlines are set up for a reason. This reasoning is thought-out, so it’s essential to meet them.

Everyone procrastinates—it’s a part of being human. But, you need to know when to get things done. Here’s an essential guide to meeting deadlines.

The ability to meet #deadlines is an essential skill for any job. Use this guide to start getting things done on time and above expectations. Check out this article from @Joshua_RBM for more: Click To Tweet

Give a Shit

To meet deadlines, you first have to give a shit. Having a passion for what you’re doing is critical because the more you care, the more you’ll do. It can sometimes be difficult to truly care about each project, but it 100% helps you to meet deadlines. If you’re not interested in a particular project you’ve been put on, take some time to research and learn about it, so you’re better equipped to care about it and understand the ‘why’ behind it. My father always says two things that stick with me – the first is “work first, play second,” and “there is no try; there is only do.” These motivate me to take pride in everything I’m working on, even when I find it utterly boring.

This can also relate to employee engagement. 70% of U.S. employees don’t feel engaged at work——meaning a majority of the workforce are less productive than their potential. If people don’t feel engaged, they are more than likely to miss deadlines. A great way to fix this is for leaders and employees alike to make the deadlines together. The people doing the work need transparency. Rather than just set deadlines, leaders should be involved in the process. This will help employees give a shit and feel like everyone has a stake in the outcome.

Break it Down

This one is a given, and the reason is that it works. Breaking down the project into multiple steps will allow you to tackle them more efficiently. This helps visualize the project as a whole and gives you, and your team, a better estimation as to how long each step will take. All you need to do is take the deliverables, think about what the outcome will look like, and break it down step by step.

Prioritize Your Projects

Prioritization is key. Differentiating multiple projects into high, medium, and low stages will help you create a hierarchy of priorities and a roadmap to completion. If you don’t have the bandwidth to take something on—then don’t. It’s okay to say no. The last thing you want to do is overcommit and miss a deadline.

Communicate Clearly

Ensure you and your team are creating a specific deadline for every project, because if it’s not clear, it’ll be harder to meet. When there’s no deadline, it will continue to get pushed back until it’s no longer relevant. Not only should leadership specify the date and time, but they should clearly communicate the details of the project. This will help streamline efficiency, improve productivity, and save a lot of time.

Poor communication can lead to a less engagement team, less productivity, and higher costs for the organization. Internal communication is one of the biggest influencers for creating higher engagement, which helps increase productivity and saves costs.

Understand Every Aspect of the Project

Don’t be afraid to ask questions! While very cliche, the phrase, “no question is a stupid question” is great advice. Even if it’s something you should know, your team would rather get it right the first time so they can get more done and hit more deadlines.

Have you been pushing a lot of projects back because it’s impossible to meet the #deadlines? Take a look @RedBranch’s most recent blog for tips to #GettingThingsDone: Click To Tweet

It’s essential to understand all aspects of a project even when you’re not responsible for some of them. Knowing deliverables and what they’re aiming to do will allow you to better communicate with the client, your team, and of course, hit your deadline. As for your part on the project, knowing everything you need to do, step-by-step, will streamline your processes.

Stay Organized

There are so many different methods of staying organized from making to-do lists, to planning out your week or even month, to using different platforms that were designed to help you stay organized. No matter what method or process you use, the key is to stick with it. According to Harvard Business Review, scheduling when and where you’ll perform a task will increase your chance of getting it done.

Don’t let your process slip or become unorganized or else life becomes much more stressful. Staying organized is not only crucial to the overall efficiency of a business, but also lets your team know what needs to get done now, what’s upcoming, and how the overall flow of work looks like.

Check out these awesome tips to stay organized here.

Make it Happen, Captain

Now that you’re an expert on meeting deadlines, it’s time to make it happen, Captain. Use this information as a tool to help your business, your team, and especially yourself, become more efficient, more proud of your work and a lot less stressful.

Meeting deadlines is hard, and sometimes you have no control over whether something makes it or not. But, what you can do is always be prepared and ready to hit that deadline. Good luck!

What’s your secret to meeting deadlines? Tweet us @RedBranch and let us know!