Are your impending deadlines giving you a feeling of dread? Read below our quick tips for the time poor and start making sure you and your team hit those deadlines.

1. Say no

Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. You need to know the value of your own time. To communicate this, start by making other people aware of your own deadlines and workload, then they can assess if you are crucial to the success of their project.

2. Delegate

This is the flip side to point one; don’t take on a whole project by yourself. If you know someone who can do something whilst you work on another aspect of the project, then empower some of the more junior members of your team and ask them. Better still, ask SmartPA to do the bulk work. Just leave yourself a small amount of time to make final changes and finalise/sign off. Your team will thank you for this and by starting to create a group dynamic will help you in the long run.

3. Prioritise

There is a difference as to what has to be done and what needs to be done. Mark out in your calendar your key deadlines and you can then create a priority list from that. Remember, it is good to get ahead on projects, but it should never be at the expense of the more impending tasks.

4. Avoid distractions

One of the most distracting things to teams is the ringing phone or incoming emails as we are programmed to assume these are a priority over existing tasks. Outsourcing email and telephony support to SmartPA ensures you have complete focus on the task at hand and will allow you to push forward your projects.

5. Cut back on meetings

How many meetings have you had that are truly productive? Avoid losing an hour in the diary for the sake of it and adopt agile working - small catch ups daily or weekly on the current status of tasks will ensure that everyone understands the task at hand and problems can be solved as and when they happen, without them escalating.

6. Put a time limit on tasks

Going back and forth between those last minute changes always takes an unexpected amount of time. Put a time limit on yourself and communicate this to your team.

7. Target to be early

Handing in work late is never looked upon favourably. One of the biggest tips we can give you is to target to complete the project a few days/hours before the actual deadline. This means you won’t spend the final push manically trying to finish the project and ultimately allow other projects to be pushed down your priorities list.

8. Don’t get caught up in the small stuff

Always keep in mind the end goal. The smaller tasks need to be done, but they also need to make sense of what you are trying to achieve. The smaller tasks are actually the most likely to slow you down; speak to our team about how we can support you with back-office support.

9. Plan your day

To avoid panic, plan your day before you start. Use your calendar to block out time and stick to it. This will provide a focus for your day, and you are less likely to jump between tasks.

10. Task-based software

Keep yourself and your team up to date on the progress of your tasks on software such as Trello or Monday.com. By doing so, it will help everyone plan their priorities and allows for more efficient team-work.

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