How to Navigate When Under a Time Crunch

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Even if you’re the kind of employee who plans everything out ahead of time and always gets project done before deadlines, there will come a time  when you’re under the gun with a mountain of work and too little time. Because this can be stressful, and therefore a detriment to getting that said work done, it’s best to have a game plan in mind so that you’re prepared when you find yourself in a major time crunch at work. Here’s how.

Digital Tools

These should be a part of streamlining your everyday work processes, but will especially help out when you’re under a major time crunch. These project management tools simplify the normally tedious processes by offering document management, task management, and collaboration features to make you and your work more efficient. A tool like  RAG status reporting is especially helpful when you’re short on time since it gives a clear overview of the project steps for you, and timely updates for your supervisors or anyone with whom you’re collaborating.

 

Take inventory and triage

Write a list of everything you need to get done and order the items in descending priority so you know exactly what order to go in. Be realistic about what can actually be done versus what must be done, no matter how long it takes you.

 

Ask questions as you go along–does this article need an accompanying infographic designed now, or can you use a stock placeholder in the meantime while you continue on to more important tasks on your list? Be practical about what can be cut or even simply filled in next week, tomorrow, etc. If you’re a visual learner especially, set up the kanban system of organization to give a bird’s eye glance to your project timeline.

 

Don’t forget the basics

It’s not just an old wives’ tale. Lack of sleep actually makes you slower and less productive, according to a recent study. So even if you’re under a major deadline, pulling an all-nighter to finish the job isn’t going to do you any favors—it might actually hurt your work by causing errors and oversights. While you’re at it, make sure not to ignore the other important factors that keep you at prime productivity, like short breaks every hour, a full and healthy meal (no, Red Bulls don’t count), and doing some exercises as simple as stretching and short walks to keep your blood circulation regular.

Ask for help

If you’re part of a team at work, you’re all in this together. That’s why asking for assistance to complete a project before deadline (as long as you don’t take advantage of this) can benefit everyone. Rely on your team members to pitch in with some of the smaller tasks and where they can best lend their expertise. This will free you up to tackle the bigger and more time-consuming aspects of your project, and you won’t be sweating the small stuff nearly as much.

For next time, remember that time is an invaluable commodity. If you’re a procrastinator, look to project management tools and even time tracking software to keep you on task and constantly motivated.

Taylor McKinney is a Marketing Specialist at TrustRadius, which has become the most trusted website for B2B software reviews. When she is not writing about the latest tools and small business trends she is enjoying Austin’s beautiful scenery with her family.

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