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Updated: Jul 3, 2021

Deadline is a scary word. The sound of it can make you nervous. In this fast paced world, deadlines have become an integral part of the corporate life. However, in order make your deadlines not ‘deadly’ here are five steps to optimize your performance under a stressful deadline.

1. Break your Tasks

The first step to get work done is to divide it into parts. It will help you get a sense of understanding of the work, the time that it will take, and the things that need to be completed. How do you eat an elephant? Brian Tracy, author of the book Management Goals says, “one bite at a time”.

2. Prioritize and Time Tasks

The second step is to prioritize each part of the task and allot a time frame for the completion of each part. Don’t be too ambitious, add 20% more time to each task to help you not feel rushed. Muhuri and Shukla stare the use of ‘fuzzy deadlines’ to cater to the uncertainty with strict timing of tasks.

3. Take Breaks

The third step is to take breaks in between to refresh your mind. A cup of coffee in between breaks or a light chat with a co-worker is a good way to get your creative juices flowing. A Forbes article in 2017 recommends the principle of pulse and pause to get more things done.

4. Cut the clock-checking

Clock checking wastes time and creates unnecessary panic. Cutting clock-checking by 75% is a good habit that helps to focus on the work and cutting out the stress.

5. Take more naps!

Sleepless mode does not help in getting things done. Remember, even 10-15 minutes of nap can help you feel refreshed and beat that deadline!

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