Written By: Doreen Dilger, The Home Based Business Coach
Be Honest About Deadlines
We all know what it’s like to have a deadline looming over our heads. We spend most of our time feeling like we’re being pushed, often unwillingly, toward the goal line of one project or another. We also all know what it’s like to miss a deadline. However, with time and effort you can reduce your stress and meet deadlines more efficiently.
The first part of meeting goals is setting them. This part is far more important than it seems. When setting goals, you need to be realistic. Not only with whether or not you can meet a timeline, but also with whether or not you have the ability to get the job done - period. Once you have an overall goal, set smaller goals and a calendar for achieving them. Assign specific goals and duties and make sure everyone not only knows their part, but everyone else’s as well.
Even if you’re setting realistic goals and deadlines, that doesn’t mean you’ll always meet them. When setting up your plan of attack, it is important to realize that sometimes things go wrong. You or your child may be sick that day, the copier might break down in the middle of a large print job, or you had to bring your dog to the vet unexpectedly.
You can’t prepare for every eventuality, but you can set up a Plan B in case of common problems. This is often as simple as having your Policies and Procedures Manual completed so someone else knows how to do a task. Occasionally, something is going to happen and you won’t meet a deadline, but if you can prepare the likelihood of you missing more in the future will not happen.
When managing a person or team, always set their deadlines well before the deadline for the final project. Even if someone does exceptional work, you may end up with a bad final product because you were in a rush to get everything together. If the people you work with spend a lot of time procrastinating, you may just want to set a deadline they need to have it done by and leave it at that. If they don’t know the final project deadline, it may get their part to you sooner.
For a team to meet a deadline, the leader needs to be involved in the entire process. No, they don’t need to check up on everyone every step of the way, but they do need to see if everyone is on schedule and if they have any problems. Often people will try to handle it themselves when they hit a snag, delaying their part and possibly the whole project.
When you’ve met a big deadline, reward yourself and your team with some kind of treat. Depending on your options and on the importance of the deadline, it could be something big, like a group outing, or something small liking bringing in bagels one morning. If you have something to look forward to, you’ll be more likely to get things done on time. Plus, this will give everyone the energy boost to get started on your next big project.
Have a question or comment about this blog? Please post below. As a way of thanking my audience for participating I am doing a monthly give-a-way for all those who read my blog posts, sign up for my FREE Report or those who participate in any of my seminars. One lucky winner will be picked on the last Friday of each month and announced here on my blog.
Remember all it takes is a plan and specific daily action steps to move you to your goals!
Here’s to your success!
About the Author: Doreen Dilger – Master Motivator, Excuse Eliminator & Goal-get-her. The Home Based Business Coach.