Deadlines are not exactly everyone’s favorite thing in the world. In fact, it would probably rank as one of the worst. But whether we may be in school trying to finish the last minute details of a project, or at work, tuning out the finer points of an important report or simply at home preparing a meal before the family comes home from work or from school, meeting deadlines is rather commonplace. Whatever the nature of your work, whether you may be in marketing, sales, or human resource, stress is inevitable. But this is even more evident for people engaged in people who are into web design or are in mobile app development. This is because professionals engaged in this kind of business do not deal with deadlines alone but the stress that comes along with it from difficult and demanding clients making it a bit harder to manage.
Deadline stress comes in various forms and diverse intensities; it is something one would experience at least once in their lives and each individual responds to it different. Others may get the nerves, conk out and give in to stress leaving their work in complete disarray, but for a selected lucky few, this may be the source of their inspiration, the pressure of a deadline for producing exemplary work. But for those unlucky enough to lose their head in the midst of accomplishing an important task with a deadline set, then, this article is for you. Every once in a while, deadline stress takes the best out of us, makes us lose our cool and render us ineffective and unproductive. But this does not have to be the case every single time. This article will show you how you can curb deadline stress or at least handle it with grace.
1.) A clean desk de-clutters your mind
Although, this one is rather obvious, it is very much spot on. Apparently, no one wants to work on an untidy an unkempt desk. The sight is not only an eyesore but with so much clutter scattered on your desk, it would be harder for one to work. Organization is key when it comes to meeting a deadline and the first step towards this is to keep a tidy desk. It is often remarked that a tidy desk is a tidy mind so tidy up your physical workspace and clear your table of clutter that you do not need. Having an organized desk will help you focus on what you are supposed to be doing.
2.) De-clutter your head. Clear your mind
With so much to do and so much going on, it is inevitable to have a lot not only on your plate but on your mind as well. With deadlines to worry about, as well as other factors to fill up your thoughts, it is inevitable that this would only add to your stress. Instead of zeroing on the things floating in your head, de-clutter your mind instead so that you can focus on the task. There are a lot of ways to go about this but one of the surefire ways to focusing at the task at hand is to use a task manager app (which is available for free), which works on Apple’s iPad or Mac and so on, more convenient for those who are always on the go. Think of this task manager as a receptacle for the thoughts of your brain where you store your activities for the day.
3.) Avoid distractions (online and offline)
Whether online of offline, distractions are abundant. The urge to talk to your workmate about nonsensical stuff, chat up with colleagues at the water station or just take longer than necessary at the loo. However, with the emergence of social media and the advancement of Internet technology, distractions at work have not only become profuse but a lot more tempting as well. Social media is great and staying connected online is a great perk but when deadlines are cropping up left and right, it is much wiser to turn them off lest you fall behind schedule.
4.) Screen breaks are essential
Sitting behind a computer desk and staring at the computer screen can get tedious especially if you do not insert short intervals in between. Not only would it stress your eyes and your mind, but also it can potentially damage your eyes not to mention staring at one object for long periods of time can be rather soporific. So take a screen break every now and then because no matter how busy you are, breaks are essential to keep you from burning out. It is important to take physical breaks and to remember there is still a world beyond your monitor. Stand up, grab a coffee or just stretch your legs out. It will help you be more effective in completing tasks.
5.) Devote blocks of your time to a project
Sometimes there are things on your task list that would need your immediate attention before you can proceed to the others or more often than not, things will not as smoothly as your task list might indicate owing to the nature of your job or to work disruptions/distractions here and there. But if you want to get the job done and are working on something, dedicate the next block hour for it without doing anything else but the task you dedicated that specific job for. You might have to deal with other things during that particular hour but where possible, dedicate it to a single task. This makes finishing tasks easier and a lot faster.
6.) Spice up your workstation- Give it a makeover
Staring at the same desk for a long time can be dull and to avoid this, you need to be creative in coming up with ways to avoid the monotony when you are working. The familiarity and mundane look of your workplace—cubicle or desk—might be weighing and dragging your energy levels down. Imagine facing the same wall, seeing the same stuff, talking to the same person for endless hours, this could easily spike your stress levels and have you stuck in a mental rut.
Try moving your desk or moving the things around it, re-arranging the stuff on your desk, giving it a bit of your personality. A little change is all you need to give you a new perspective. Sometimes, just changing your desktop wallpaper is enough to break the mental logjam.
7.) Meet your daily sleep quota
This is fairly obvious but apparently easily overlooked amidst deadlines and pressure. But it is a clear reality that functioning on little to no sleep causes one to be ineffective at work and may even cause a burnout shall rest be hard to come by during work hours. Deadlines may cause a lot of pressure but not meeting your sleep quota can cost you in the long run and render you unfit for work and thus, rendering you not only not fit to meet your deadlines but unfit to work as well.