If the Gioconda had to be created in a month, Leonardo da Vinci would finish it on the night before the end of term. Know what that's Like.? But well-planned companies using time management, work more efficiently and better. Then why is the deadline for some people an opportunity to achieve their goals quickly, and for others — fatigue, lack of sleep and a constant lack of time?
We will help you understand what a "deadline" is, how to complete projects on time, and why there is not enough time for everything.
What does the word "deadline" mean?
A deadline is a finish line that is put at the very beginning of the work. By autumn, next week, tomorrow, at 12: 00 — all this can be considered a deadline. After all, you need to cope with the work in the specified time and not a day later. Now the deadline has many synonyms: time limit, cut-off point, finishing date, target date. But the point is one - noticed in the crowd a tired man with a cup of coffee in shaking hands - he has a deadline.
At the beginning this term was not used to motivate employees. During the American civil war, prisoners of war were forbidden to go near the camp fence. There was a line, the deadline, to cross which meant getting shot. Now, for non-compliance of the terms the fusillade is not provided, but to gain a reputation as an irresponsible employee can be very easy. Then, if deadlines cause so much stress, why do you need them and what is the secret of productive work?
Deadline in time management
We have already talked about how important it is to manage your own time. When planning our actions, we clearly know how and, most importantly, when we can achieve our goals. This is why deadline is an important part of time management.
There are several types of deadline:
- Soft (there may be some variations from the schedule);
- Hard (the task must be completed within the specified time limit);
- Super-hard (the time to complete the task is extremely short).
For example, Elon Musk always sets ambitious, at first glance, impossible deadlines for employees of his companies. This strategy, to his opinion, motivates employees better, increases productivity and takes less time to solve the most complex tasks. And the main secret is not in the demands of boss and the rigidity of deadlines, but in the work of our brain. After all, according to Parkinson's law, work takes all the time allowed for it. That is, we can cope with the same task in 2 hours or 2 weeks. And if the deadlines are not setted, the probability that the work will be completed at all is minimal. Then it's time to use a deadline.
Pros and cons of setting a deadline
To fully understand the essence and importance of the deadline, you need to take into account all its advantages and disadvantages.
The advantages include:
Motivation. After all, there is no more pleasant feeling when all the projects are completed successfully, and personal time is not spent on finalizing the pending cases.
- Concentration. Our brains work more efficiently and productively in rigid conditions. And we simply don't have time for procrastination.
- Disciplining. Clear deadlines give us a sense of responsibility and a desire to make the deadline.
- Control. Splitted into deadlines tasks are easier to track than redoing the entire project.
It would seem that deadline is a magic pill for the success of any company. But only if it is correctly setted. Otherwise, the carriage turns into a pumpkin, and all the pluses of deadlines turn into minuses.
Possible disadvantages of setting deadlines:
- Stress. Fear of not coping with the task on time, panic because the date of passing the project is coming on, insomnia, fatigue... As a result, reduced productivity, and sometimes even the desire to work.
- Deterioration of work quality. If there is an objective lack of time to complete the task, the quality of the final results suffers.
That is why deadline is not only important by itself, but also a competent approach to tasks planning.
How to get the job done on time without stress
So that the deadline does not cause a lot of tension and desire to take some sedative pills, you need to correctly assess your capabilities (or the capabilities of employees), as well as know a few useful tips how to make deadlines stop burning.
1. Divide a large objective into several small ones and "eat one frog a day".
2. Write a plan - it's extremely difficult to keep all the information in your head.
3. Remind yourself of deadline impending.
4. Work with the time-trackers. For example, simple time-tracker Checkiant allows you to react in time if employees have problems with deadlines.
If deadlines are set wisely and usefully, they will certainly become the key to successful completion of the project.