If you're a freelance, independent professional or just work remotely, meeting deadlines may possibly be one of your biggest challenges within the first few weeks or months. For some, it may even be a lifelong, continuous battle. Meeting deadlines can easily set you apart from other competitors in your niche. Clients prioritise dependability over talent and satisfied clients guarantee repeat business and referrals.
Here are some strategies to help you finish projects on time, all the time:
Estimate & track your time
Tracking time may seem like senseless busywork but it's a useful tool for tracking productivity. When taking on a project, you should be able to realistically estimate how much time it'll take you to get things done and you cannot do this if you do not have statistics to go by. When you track time, you can refer to similar projects to estimate time.
Before initiating a project, divide it into mini projects/tasks to do everyday. When you’ve done this, set a timeframe to finish each task and always ensure that you keep to the schedule.
Do the difficult things first
Typically, we tend to embark on the easiest tasks first and push the more difficult tasks to later, however, in a study of procrastination by Joseph R. Ferrari, Ph.D, a professor of psychology at DePaul University, he states “Research has shown it’s usually better to get the more difficult things done first and then indulge in the pleasurable ones”. This is to say that when you embark on the more difficult tasks first, it’ll keep you from slipping off your schedule and makes it easier for you to hit your deadlines.
Working remotely, it is easy to get side-tracked or lose focus. That said, it helps to be accountable to someone (a partner, friend or family member). This helps you stay focused and productive.
Know any more helpful strategies for meeting deadlines? Share with us in the comments section!