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Do you cringe every time you recall a missed deadline?

“I thought it would be no big deal to finish the assigned task!,” exclaims Rahul, an employee working for a small company in Mumbai. “It took almost 2-3 days to actually complete the work. I had to work overtime to finish it on the due-date.”

After that day, he promised to never miss a deadline.Now, he uses small applications to keep a track of upcoming work and tasks to complete them before they are due.

This habit of delaying tasks is the result of a commonly occurring phenomenon known as the planning fallacy. According to the fallacy, people tend to overestimate the time taken to complete any common tasks and underestimate time taken for longer tasks.

We commonly hear people saying “ Next week looks free. Let me finish it next week”. But it never is! We have previously read now perception of time is different for different cultures in this article

Task and time management is not only important for an employee but to the management as well. The management has to monitor concurrent projects and check whether the deployed tasks are being performed on time. One needs to get their schedule under control with the following tips from several time management experts:

Time Management tips

First, get started

Get over the “I don’t feel like starting the task right now” or “I am not in the mood for this task” mentality.
Your motivation is might or might not match the attractiveness of the task.Yet, you will have to complete it once somebody assigns it to you. Thus, change your attitude and change your life !
Use of latest technology to avoid distraction and reduce complexities

They say that the social media has resulted in procrastination. To avoid this at workplace or otherwise, one should use technology in the right manner. One can download a productivity application to help stay on track and focus on the given task.

Applications like VComply, helps an individual or an organization to manage their tasks related to regulations, internal controls etc on a single integrated platform. It saves time, increases efficiency and boosts the productivity of the company at large! One can also integrate the tool with Google Drive.
What works best for you?

Once you start completing your task, you may experiment with a few different methods and schedules. If you cannot focus on the task at a stretch, you may mix and match tasks to suit your style.

Keep a track of the time spent

Tracking every small activity is very important. This will give you an overview of the daily or weekly schedule. One can list down the tasks on a spreadsheets with colour codes to begin with. This shall make you understand as to which redundant tasks have been done before the important tasks.
Establish bright lines

A small room for negotiation is a must when you set deadlines. If one sets the deadline at 10 a.m, one should not delay it by 15 minutes and start the next task at 10:15 am. It affects the tasks which are scheduled later. This should apply to both work and personal time. Also, do not forget to add time for relaxing in your schedule.

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Get help from friends or colleagues

Having a third person in the loop holds you accountable. This person can review your progress or remind you if you are procrastinating. These days, various applications like VComply solve this hassle by sending constant reminders to you if the job is left undone.

Use small chunks of time

Even small chunks of time are enough to start the task. People waste these precious minutes in performing unproductive tasks and thus, end up wasting a lot of time.

Do away with perfection

It all depends on prioritizing the tasks based on the importance and urgency it holds for you. If the impact of not doing the task is huge, one should do it with perfection.

Time management grid

Don’t forget to reward yourself

It is very to plan a break or two in the middle of a tight schedule. This  increases the productivity and refreshed the mind to perform the next task with renewed vigour. It also helps one stay motivated.

To conclude the discussion, along with detailing of the schedule one needs to be realistic about the tasks. Thus, the “to-do list” should be workable or manageable. For this, judgement and experience will definitely play an important role.

Happy Planning!

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