The art of meeting deadlines

The art of meeting deadlines

Hello and Hi from Food Bites!

Here at Food Bites we have realised that we are not perfect and sometimes we need to learn to practice what we preach.  We are living in a crazy time and deadlines are constantly looming – whether it’s something that needs to happen at work or at home, there is always something that was due the day before yesterday!

How many of you have sat in meetings where deadlines are extended for no good reason?  Don’t be shy – raise your hand, nod your head, you can’t deny it!  The sad thing about this is that it fast becomes the culture within an organisation and little actually gets done on time.  [Read our Food Safety Culture Blog here]

Here at Food Bites, we have learned the following lessons and we want to share them with you in the hope that it will help you on your own journey to meeting deadlines:

  1. Start by setting realistic deadlines. If you are over-committing to an unrealistic deadline from the start, you are setting yourself up for failure.
  2. Deadlines such as “immediate”, “ongoing” and “ASAP” are NOT DEADLINES – if you can’t see a date, you can’t see a deadline.
  3. If necessary, include a buffer before deciding on the deadline to ensure that it can be met. Sometimes obtaining a quotation or researching a solution to a complex issue may take longer than you think, so make provision for it when you agree on the due date.
  4. Prioritise your work and focus on the most important activities first! Do not overpromise and under-deliver. Set deadlines by taking your current workload into account.
  5. Do not agree to a deadline if you are not sure what is involved; there may be many steps/actions involved in a task.
  6. Assign resources – don’t over-estimate your ability to deliver. Bring in expert team members, delegate and assign responsibilities and remember, not everyone will share your idea of the timelines – your timelines may not be their timelines and your availability may not be their availability.
  7. Start now! Not tomorrow. Scheduling a 30-minute slot in your calendar on a daily basis to work on a task can go a long way in helping you make the deadline.  Instead of trying to complete everything at once, tackling the task step by step, helps you break it down into “bite-size” (pun intended) pieces and each completed task is a step in the right direction.  Stress is reduced and progress will create momentum!

Cheers to meeting future deadlines!

Next week we carry on with this topic and share some tips on managing your time and increasing your productivity!

From the Food Bites Team