Strategies to meet year-end deadlines

December 3, 2019

The ability to meet deadlines is important in people’s personal and professional lives. But many people procrastinate to an extent that has adverse effects on their lives.
Joseph Ferrari, a professor of psychology at DePaul University in Chicago and author of “Still Procrastinating: The No Regret Guide to Getting It Done,” advises that around 20 percent of adults in the United States are chronic procrastinators. The Association for Psychological Sciences notes that people who procrastinate have higher levels of stress.
Each year, individuals set key goals for themselves. As the end of the year approaches, the pressure is on for people to complete their tasks, especially if their deadline was to finish tasks by year’s end. With such a firm date looming, consider these tactics to become better at mastering deadlines.
• Jot down all of your tasks. Jot down everything you need to or want to get done in the near future. This could be everything from learning a foreign language to picking up your child from the afterschool program. Putting it on paper helps you to better prioritize, organize and strategize.
• Categorize the list. Move tasks into key categories: scheduled, deferred or delegated. Delegated tasks are those that will be handed off to someone else. Scheduled tasks are those that you handle by a date noted on your list. Deferred tasks can wait, but will be reorganized and addressed after the scheduled tasks are completed.
• Break down projects. Dividing projects into multiple steps allows you to handle them more efficiently. Think about the bigger picture and then figure out the steps necessary to complete the project. Meeting smaller goals will help you feel confident about reaching the larger goal of the completed project.
• Stay organized. Use a planner or a calendar (whether it’s digital or a hard version) to keep on top of all broken-down steps. Harvard Business Review says scheduling when and where each task will be performed will increase the chances of getting it done.
• Ask for help. If you find you are falling behind your schedule, reach out for assistance. A friendly face can provide the inspiration necessary to rally and redouble efforts, and two hands are always more effective than one.

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