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AnonymousWoman's avatar

How do you deal with deadlines and getting tasks completed?

Asked by AnonymousWoman (6326 points ) December 30th, 2011

Another jelly who is pretty awesome suggested asking a question like this as I am not the greatest with deadlines.

Perhaps you deal with deadlines in a way that would help me deal with them if I started doing the same things as you do to meet them. You might even help someone else who has the same problem as I do.

The question is pretty self-explanatory, but if you need more details, feel free to ask. Thank you in advance!

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12 Answers

marinelife's avatar

I set limited amounts of time to work on a project. (Like “I will work on this for 30 minutes.”)

I break down large projects into smaller steps and work on those.

Earthflag's avatar

I finish the day before the deadline.

Blackberry's avatar

Um, I just do it. Unless there’s an actual reason why one can’t do it, it’s pretty simple to listen to instructions and follow them. When it comes to work, it should be priority, you find out what you have to do and get it done. But if it’s something around the house, there’s not as much pressure and it’s ok to fail. Lol.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Push it. Get off Fluther!

halabihazem's avatar

I had so many deadlines to meet in my class this year, and I’ve dealt with real business deadlines before. I learned that the one most important thing is this: Finishing the project ASAP, even if that finishing it 1 month or more before the deadline. Why? Because life is not perfect, and things will show up to deter you. Let’s say you estimate that task A will take you 1 week. Chances are it’ll take longer because you will meet unexpected problems that will delay the process. Even if your planning and execution was perfect, a new project might show up and destroy your schedule.

I have to note 5 things here:
1— I remember you once posted you have a problem with perfectionism. This is usually one of the reasons why some people find it really hard to cope with deadlines. Remember that it’s almost always better to finish the project with acceptable quality ASAP, and then spend the rest of the time making better. Just make sure you get the big bulk of tasks done first.

2— Specify tasks: If you’re not specific, you’ll never get done

3— Specify times: I sometimes plan and specify tasks, but I still fail. I noticed this happens when I say: “today, I will get the following done: .....”. Instead, you should specify more tight deadlines. For example, “Before 2pm, task A must be completed, then I’ll have lunch, and then I must finish task B before I go home at 8pm”
Since you really want to go home at 8, you’ll know you’ll only be delayed if you don’t finish your tasks ASAP. Try doing things like that to your tasks, and they’ll get done within no time.

4— Realize that nothing will get done unless you actually work on it. There is this tendency to feel safe when we have well planned schedules and stuff like that. Try to set a work portion for the day [let’s say before 8pm], and operate in super alarmed mode throughout this time, trying to meet the deadlines you set for the day. Once the time is 8pm, stop working on your tasks and do whatever you want. Make sure you don’t work or think about work in this time, because you’ll need to recharge for the following day.

5— Reminders: Make sure you remind yourself of why you’re doing this and why you must finish ASAP. Also eliminate distractions or negative feelings. Remember you’ll always feel good if you’re doing progress, even if you’re overloaded with work.

There might be some flaws with what I mentioned, but I find these points to sum up all what I really need to get done with things. I hope this helps.

Tbag's avatar

@marinelife I kinda do the same. Give whatever I have to do it’s time and I only focus on that with nothing else disturbing me. I’ve got a whole lot of assignments to do for the university.. Usually for my assignments, I hit Costa coffee shop with headphones on my ears and some trance music on to avoid distractions while I’m working on my essay! Some would ask, how come music is not a distraction? Well, I don’t know why but trance music works wonders for me for getting something done!

halabihazem's avatar

@Tbag , I tried that before but I found that listening to music actually uses brain power, because music was made to stimulate certain things in your brain. It does work to eliminate noise and improve focus, but I found that listening to whitenoise totally eliminates noise and boosts focus much more. I’m not saying that your method is wrong, but I’m suggesting you give whitenoise a try ;)

sleepdoc's avatar

It helps me to have a central calendar to write things down on so I don’t forget things and can plan when I need to work on them,

Dutchess_III's avatar

Good to see you up here @Tbag!

Bellatrix's avatar

I create my own deadlines and set my own earlier dates for tasks that do have a deadline. So I give it an earlier date and create a to-do/calendar entry so I get things done well in time for the official due date. Less stress and I also don’t forget things. In my work, I also need ‘think’ time. So by doing this I allow myself time to reflect on the work I am doing.

I work on things in small parts too. I can’t stand working on the same thing for days on end. That drives me nuts. So I do a little at a time. Most larger tasks have different stages and parts so I break things up. Before you know, it is finished. If it is a really important job with multiple people involved, I draw up a schedule so we are all clear on what needs doing and by when. I put in milestones we need to get done by what date.

blueiiznh's avatar

I break it down to sub tasks and review progress every day.
No matter how busy other things get, I make sure I spend some amount of focus time on it everyday.

Tbag's avatar

@halabihazem You’re not the first one to tell me about this! I surely will give this a try, you’ve been a bit more helpful than I am, haha.
@Dutchess_III Dutchess! I was thinking about sending you a message which I will right now. By the way I’m from heaven, I watch over everyone in fluther all the time….. Yes, heaven has internet but the wireless connection with earth is slow.

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