Managing tight deadlines can be nerve wracking. However, Priority Matrix can help you own your timeline and make sure that that you are able to meet the deadline that you’ve been given.
Beating Deadline Anxiety
When faced with a deadline, the nerve wracking part is that we often have many different things to do before one single date. This creates a lot of uncertainty in our minds. What if we start out too slow and only get 70% done? What if we start off fast and finish it all but it turns out that we could have spent more time and produced a higher quality result. To keep this deadline anxiety from sapping your productivity, you must consider how much time you have to complete your project and how much time each task should take. Even if doing this shows you that you have less than the ideal amount of time to finish a project, knowing this is still a good thing. With this knowledge, you can make decisions about what tasks won’t suffer from being skimped on and whats tasks need the full time investment. By doing this, you prioritize the tasks that need the attention no matter how stressed and down to the wire you feel. After this analysis, the key is to break the project into many small deadlines. Create concrete deadlines for each tasks based on how much time each one will need. When looking at these smaller deadlines, you know that, if you stick to them, you will be fine. This can do a lot to get rid of your deadline jitters.
Positive Feedback Loop
Breaking down deadlines into smaller deadlines adds a positive light to the situation. Every time you meet a small deadline is a small victory and you will take this sense of accomplishment with you as you tackle the next task. This experience of successfully meeting one deadline reaffirms to you that, yes, you can and will meet the big deadline. Often, deadlines stress us out so much because they provoke self-doubt and uncertainty. However, every time you get a task done on schedule, that self-doubt takes a hit. Instead of having to sit with this feeling of anxiety the whole time, by breaking down deadlines you will probably have more confidence in your ability to finish on time the closer that you get to the deadline. Without breaking down the deadlines, the opposite would likely by the case.
Managing Tight Deadlines with the Gantt Chart
When you manage a project in Priority Matrix, you can easily break down a project into many deadlines:
The Gantt Chart view helps you visualize your timeline and make sure that you are staying on track: