Like most of us, you probably deal with deadlines. The approach in this blog post suggests three key behaviors for getting time on your side. Here’s an excerpt, but the full post is well worth a read if you find that deadlines sometimes sneak up on you.
Three Key Behaviours to Master Deadlines
Published on November 11, 2013 by Robert Peake
Time is not my strong suit. I much prefer space. On holidays, I’ll gladly do the packing while my wife arranges the travel schedule. However, in my professional life, there is one aspect of time that is unavoidable: deadlines. The very word makes some people sweat.
It used to make me sweat as well, because I knew that it invariably meant pushing hard at the eleventh hour, and sometimes it meant feeling bad about missing the due date. However, stress and guilt don’t have to go with deadlines. The Getting Things Done (GTD) methodology helps me manage anything that comes at me, and everything I commit to do, using time as just one variable in that mix. However, being a bit of a slow learner about time in particular, I have had to think extra hard about the strategies that work best to help me hit deadlines.
The strategies boil down to three simple things for me: recognising commitments at the outset, setting myself up to succeed using calendar and lists, and reviewing my calendar and lists to adjust over time. I think most people who are good with deadlines employ some combination of recognition, structure, and foresight in their own way. Here is how I make those three elements work for me using GTD.
1. Recognise whenever I commit to something and write it down.
2. Think through the commitment to flush out the next action, waiting for, calendar item, project, or some combination of these to get into my system to support me along the way.
3. Do a weekly review (weekly!), scanning ahead to see what’s coming at me, including reminders of upcoming events, so that I can engage appropriately, week by week, in advance of the deadline
With these three key behaviours in place, I have found that the rest becomes fairly easy and self-evident in terms of keeping the moving parts moving toward the goal.
Read the full post here. You can read other blog posts and find out more about Next Action Associates, the only Certified International Partner for GTD in the UK, here.