One of the most frustrating things that one can experience in a given day is not getting a task finished in a timely manner. We are creatures of procrastination and this often leads us to the situation of the “perfect storm” where a great many deadlines are looming and time is now our enemy.
Have you experienced this from time to time or do you have this situation before you on a regular basis? How’s the stress levels at this time both on and off the job. Does the unfinished business start to nag at you
So how do we deal with this? Here are some hints:
- Have a “to do” list every day. This will help you keep your priorities right for each day. Many things on your list may be able to be carried over until another day but make sure that those items are not high on the list.
- Give yourself lots of time to get to deadlines. One thing I like to do is to keep my “to do” or “task” list in front of me every day. It is in site and on mind. If you see a deadline coming up, plan to get it done before the actual deadline. By doing this, you give yourself some breathing room in case of emergencies that may crop up.
- Complete the task and then move on to the next one. It is amazing how quickly you can get your task list completed by doing this.
- At the end of day, check that task list over to see what has still to be done. You will be surprised to see what has actually been accomplished.
I can hear it right away- “in a perfect world, this will work but what about unexpected priorities that crop up?” So your task list has to change a bit. If you are under a deadline and this happens, go back to the originator of the task and ask for more time. They often will have left themselves more time for their own deadline. I have often found that they are quite forgiving and will give you extra time. That leaves room for the things that have serious deadlines like contracts, applications, etc.
By completing those tasks, you can give yourself some breathing room and move on to the next task with a clear mind. Try it – you will be surprised. And don’t forget about that “one second” rule.