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My friend Raj thrives on working under pressure. Looming deadlines drive him to deliver high-quality work. He believes that his productivity goes up when he works at the 11th hour.
Some time back, just days before he was supposed to file in his report, he fell sick. By the time he recovered, the report was well past the deadline for submission. He not only lost his credibility but was also overlooked for the next assignment.
There are some of us who believe that we are in control over what we do and we can meet due dates at all times. However, over the years, I have seen that something or another always gets in the way when a project is almost due.
I believe it pays to be ahead of deadlines. Finishing tasks in advance can lead to higher quality work and lower stress levels. Deadlines make us more concerned with the result rather than the task itself, leading us to put in a mediocre output.
Here are a few tips that will help you to stay ahead of your deadlines:
• Set an early date to finish your task and work towards it. It is important to clear your mind and focus on completing it.
• Have a plan and work according to the plan. Break the task into parts and move from one part to another as you finish.
• Have the courage to say ''no'' to tasks that you will struggle to deliver on time. Be clear on a specific task and all the elements associated with it. This will help avoid any last-minute surprises.
Keep in mind that it is essential to give more emphasis to quality before committing to a deadline as deadline pressures may lead to substandard work. When we complete a task ahead of its due date, we get more time to provide the final touch as well as relax.
• Evaluate workload details before you start working on it
• Set mini-deadlines for each phase and comply with them
• Stay collected under pressure to help you remain focused
Find out how winners work hard and focus on goals
Source: C. Sunil Roy, Special to Jobs & Careers
The writer is Senior Manager, Publilink