If you’re not early you’re late. Punctuality is a characteristic that most people struggle to maintain in the work world. Especially if you’re a freelancer, your ability to complete tasks on time and meet deadlines is imperative for your business. The more reliable you are in meeting these deadlines, the more likely you’ll be hired again in the future. We all live quite busy lives with plenty to do in the day, this often makes it difficult to budget time and keep track of these deadlines. While it’s not always easy, it’s very doable, here are some ways to help you stay on top of your due dates.
1. Make a List
This may seem like an obvious option, but the truth is very few people are disciplined enough to keep their tasks on a detailed list. If you’re old school, you can keep important dates written down in a moleskin journal. There are also plenty of IOS and Android applications that allow you to create to-do lists on your phone that help you stay organized and punctual. A few popular ones include: Evernote and Todoist. Try a few of these out, see what works for you and be on time!
2. Delegate Work
You should always look to surround yourself with people who are smarter than you. Not only that, it’s important to build a network of people with a diverse set of skills. If you come across a task that can be executed by a more qualified person in your network, delegate that task to them. Run a cost/benefit analysis on utilizing their skills, if it works out in your favor, then you’ll save your self precious time and money.
3. Limit Distractions
Your time is your most valuable asset. In order to get the most out of your time, it’s best to keep distractions at a minimum. Arguably the biggest distraction is your smartphone. Unfortunately we need to use our phones quite a bit during our work day, so turning them off isn’t always the best option. You can discipline yourself to only use your phone for work related purposes, or you can turn off notifications and use the “Do not Disturb” function to limit disturbances.
4. Delay Gratification
Often times we like to reward ourselves for hard work. It’s nice to give yourself a pat on the back once in a while, but it’s also important to hold off on the big rewards until you’ve made a major accomplishment. This will give you structure on task/job completion. If you remained disciplined on delaying your gratification, you will naturally prioritize your tasks and it will help you stay motivated on meeting your deadlines.
Slept in too late. Sick. Dog ate my homework. Flat Tire. No matter what the excuse is, it’s typically never okay to be late. Make sure to utilize these four simple tips to stay on top of your deadlines and make the most of your day.