Finishing tasks on time can often times become more difficult than previously assumed. While some may seem to be able to complete tasks with ease, others have a tougher time getting past the various components that slow down progression. Many factors can contribute to the late completion of projects including underestimating tasks, distractions, bad time management, misunderstanding the tasks at hand, failure to break down tasks, and even, procrastination. Life can be very unpredictable, and some things are simply inevitable, but there are ways to get around the daily surprises life hands you that may get in the way of you crossing your project finish line. In order to increase your chances of finishing tasks on time, there are some actions that can be taken to help you follow through. Don’t be a victim to determents! Follow these tips to ensuring you complete your projects on time (possibly even earlier)!
1. Make sure you fully understand the project at hand
This is probably the most important step in completing a project (hence why it is the first tip). Taking the time to sit down and fully understand what is needed of you to successfully complete your task is key. Read over the guidelines, do your research, write down any questions you may have, and make sure you understand the ins and outs of your assignment. Initially breaking down objectives will help prevent any confusion from popping up later that may cause delays.
2. Break project down into smaller, do-able tasks
One of the biggest reasons why projects get delayed is due to the daunting, overwhelming feeling that comes along with completing a big or important responsibility. Think about it, looking at projects as one whole big task can seem almost impossible. The best way to combat this feeling is by breaking your project down into smaller, do-able tasks. Yes, at first it may seem like you’re adding more to your plate. Even so, as you go along, you’ll see that with each task you complete, you’ll gain a bit more confidence to help you see through to the end.
3. Start early
The sooner you get started, the more you’ll be on course to finishing on time. Now that you know what needs to get done, it’s time to put things into motion. The benefit to starting early is you have more, possibly ample, time to run into any problems that may delay your tasks and find a solution to move forward. There’s nothing like procrastinating until the last minute, thinking you have things under control, and you run into an inevitable, unforeseen problem.
4. Set personal due date (complete it earlier!)
According to a principle called Parkinson’s Law, “work expands to fill the time available for it.” In other words, if you have an assignment due in ten days, but you can complete it in five, you more than likely will spread out your work across all ten of those days just to take your time. While this method may be ok to follow if you have no problems submitting tasks on time, it may lead to a long road of procrastination. Instead, you can jumpstart your progress by psyching yourself out and changing the deadline to an earlier date. Changing the due date can help create more of an urgency to complete the task at hand and puts you ahead of the game. Even moving the date up by a day is enough to help produce results. The relief you feel when the due date comes around and you remember that you no longer have to worry about submitting or completing your project will be well worth it.
5. Utilize your resources (get a partner)
If the previous tips haven’t seemed to help enough and you still can’t shake off that overwhelming feeling, it may be time to reach out for help. That’s right: get a partner. Teaming up to complete tasks is actually a very smart move that helps to make things move along more efficiently. Whether you’re looking for someone to take on tasks or you just need some advice and tips on how to complete a task yourself, don’t be afraid to lessen the load on your end by asking for assistance. Whatever gets the job done, right?
6. Take breaks to reset energy
One of the most underestimated, but key, components to completing a project is taking the time to reset. Yes, take a break! Watch some TV, surf the net, read a book, do something else other than the task at hand. Be careful: if you know you’re the type of person who has less restraint and will start binge-watching a show on Netflix, letting their break turn into procrastination, it’s probably best for you to take on productive breaks. Work on a lighter task like reading and responding to emails, taking a walk, or eating something instead of skipping a meal to complete your tasks. Breaks can help reset your energy, preventing you from burning out and putting off the assignment. Just make sure you get back to your project in a timely manner.