Dead Lines – 6 Ways to Stop Overwhelm & Get Results
If I’d been paid a pound for every time someone told me they’d moved or missed a deadline I wouldn’t be working Mondays…Tuesdays…Wednesday or Thursdays either.
Did you know the term dead line originated in the 1860’s during the American Civil War? It was at Camp Sumter, which grew to become one of the largest and prisoner of war camps in the entire Confederacy, where the man in ‘control’ implemented a Dead Line:
Any prisoner caught wondering on or beyond a line just inside the inner wall of the prison would immediately be killed.
The deadliest of all deadlines.
Today, deadline means the latest time or date by which something should be completed. You’re not going to actually get shot by not completing it, but it seems there is a blasé attitude around deadlines.
I help the Entrepreneurs Circle’s Nigel Botterill on his Masterminds, and he treats the importance of committing to deadlines as if holding a gun to your head: a matter of life of death.
Here at Advocate, we feel SO strongly about setting and meeting deadlines that our client board meeting reports contain a section called Locked & Loaded with an icon of a gun. This is a summary of agreed Planes to Land that our clients will focus on over the 13-weeks and we hold them accountable.
How else do you get results otherwise?
I’m sure as a business owner YOU get frustrated when your employees miss or postpone deadlines. Not only is this damaging to productivity and moral within your business – it has a massive impact on your bottom line and limits your ability to scale.
As well as reminding you of the importance of deadlines this week, I’m sharing 6 simple ways on how to best manage deadlines for yourself and your team – however big or small the task may be.
6 ways to manage deadlines
1). When setting deadlines, clearly define each task and set realistic dates/times.
2). Make sure everyone cares about the deadline. If there’s no understanding, passion, commitment or desire to achieve it, then it simply won’t happen.
3). You/your team may well have the will (desire) to accomplish the deadline but may not have the necessary skill In order for people to ask for help as early as possible, you need to create an environment and culture which encourages this.
4). We see a lot of overwhelm both from you as leaders, as well as when speaking to your staff. To reduce overwhelm cut assignments into small pieces so that you can see the micro steps needed in order to achieve it. This is a great lesson in visualisation.
5). It’s a well-known fact that blocks of focused time dedicated on specific activities work wonders for your own personal and business productivity.
6). Can’t meet the deadline? Just say so. Even if you’re working with a customer and feel it’s increasingly unrealistic just tell them. Upfront honesty will be more appreciative than missing it or doing a sub-standard job. Sometimes unexpected problems can occur during a project and if explained they should understand.
Here’s to a productive week.
Investor | Business Mentor at Advocate | Author of I don’t work Fridays
Image by Gino Crescoli from Pixabay