15 Recommendations For Handling Deadline Stress

15 Recommendations For Handling Deadline Stress
15 Recommendations For Handling Deadline Stress

Post Written By Expert Panel, Forbes Business Council

Deadlines come at you fast. Whether you’ve been working hard every day to get a project done or something comes up at the last minute, the stress from deadlines can derail your work flow and bleed into other aspects of your life.

To help you prevent this, we asked the members of Forbes Business Council how they handle deadline stress. Below they shared their top methods and why they work so well.

1. Relax And Stay Calm

The best way to handle deadline stress is to take a step back and relax. Calm yourself mentally or try meditation. Once you have calmed yourself, visualize the road map of how you will tackle this problem. When everything is clear in your mind, follow the steps needed to complete the task. – Mikey WuMIKOL

2. Set Fake Deadlines

If the deadline is Thursday, I say it’s Tuesday. The entire team goes into a high red zone and push to finish. This gives us time to review and make modifications. After a couple of times, they’d be wise to this, so we don’t do it all the time. We map out every step we need to complete and blast a fun song when a task is finished. The music reduces stress and little celebrations help us feel like we made progress. – Audrey ArbeenyAudiobrain

3. Find The Silver Lining

Your questions affect your outcome. Ask yourself more questions like, “What’s great about the situation right now?” By finding the silver lining in times when you are stressed by deadlines, you can focus on the opportunities and the good that comes from them. Focus on the outcome. – Alan CheungAKINGS

4. Meditate First

The best way is to step back and meditate first. Meditation helps you compartmentalize your mind space by distancing you from the clutter and stress that comes with deadlines. Once you are able to look at it objectively, it’s much easier to stay focused and be more involved in the current problem. It works! – Neha KesarwaniVertoe

5. Get A Workout In

I regularly work out, meditate and do yoga to stay physically and emotionally healthy. Plus, exercise is a great way to regulate stress-related hormones like cortisol which typically spikes when you wake up. Try morning workouts to prepare your body and mind for the stress and anxiety that comes with time-sensitive responsibilities. Do this, stay positive and deadlines won’t feel so daunting. – Corey Lewis1AND1 Life

6. Change The Way You Think About Stress

Some people think of deadlines as stress and anxiety-producing. For me, they are an interesting challenge that moves me into action. Deadlines invite structure. They encourage us to make lists, organize, check our calendars and put together a step-by-step strategy. Reframe stress as anticipation and excitement. It makes the tasks associated with the deadline much easier and more satisfying. – Sharon Lynn Livingston, The Livingston Center for Professional Coaching

7. Control What You Can And Let Go

The only thing you have control over is the amount of work you put in. Fundamentally, recognize that the process is always more important than the outcome, though bad outcomes are obviously painful. Do your best. Rinse and repeat. – Hosea Chang, Hayden Los Angeles

8. Prioritize Your Deadlines

Running a startup can be very challenging with many deadlines often at the same time. The most effective way to handle deadline stress is to take a step back and understand which deadlines have the highest priority. With a clear vision of what contributes most to company goals, you can make an action plan and tackle tasks. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for help and delegate. – Emily ErkelLePrix

9. Define Deadline Protocol

Implement a system with tools and processes designed to tackle impending deadlines. We use Todoist for one-time and recurring deadlines and Jira for more complex projects with phased deadlines. When faced with a deadline, break your project up into the smallest tasks and sort them by level of complexity. Start with medium-level tasks to boost your feeling of accomplishment. – Sani Abdul-JabbarVezTek USA | mobile apps company

10. Write A Plan

Whether you have two weeks or two hours left, it is essential to write a plan for what happens each hour or day, how the process will pan out, how each duty is performed and how duties are delegated. Writing a plan creates a visual for how the situation will be controlled and how success will be achieved. Stress usually comes with a lack of knowledge and control. – Kristine IletoAlger-Triton International

11. Seek Help When Needed

Although we are told to appear cool and relaxed under pressure, this advice is often highly counterproductive. Being open and authentic about what we’re feeling leads to better decision making, including asking for help when we need it. Speaking candidly with a close friend, family member or counselor about the situation is one of the best ways to manage stress! – Steve ShaheenJune Health

12. Make A Plan As Soon As Possible

As our company handles time-sensitive bid responses for clients, we are extremely deadline-driven as late bids are disqualified. We have never missed a deadline because we plan our work when we receive it, put each deliverable in writing and share it with the entire team. This transparency and accountability for deadlines prevent stress since everyone is on the same page from the get-go! – Maurice HararyThe Bid Lab

13. Celebrate Mini Accomplishments

We all procrastinate, but if you break down a deliverable into bite-size tasks and cross off your list as you go, you will find a small sense of accomplishment that helps motivate you towards the finish line. There’s something satisfying about crossing off tasks from a to-do list. – Scott AmyxAmyx Ventures

14. Build In Extra Time 

The best way I’ve found to handle deadlines is to give myself ample time to accomplish the task in advance of the deadline. I also make an assumption that there will be some changes that need to make at the last minute, so I always build in some extra time. – Frank LaRosaELITE Consulting Partners

15. Break Into Manageable Pieces

While some deadlines are soft, every executive will eventually face those make or break deadlines that have significant consequences if not completed on time. When approaching the latter, it helps to break tasks down into manageable pieces and assign responsibility for these accordingly. By staying organized and sticking to a plan when time is short, deadline stress will dissipate. – Jonathan SolomonDigitalMint

Forbes Article Link: 15 Recommendations For Handling Deadline Stress