What do you do when even at the peak of your burnout you cannot seem to meet deadlines? The vicious cycle of all-nighters and attempts to get in the zone is simply not working on completing your tasks on time. Even less so for the deadlines you set to yourself.
We all know the situation too well. There’s a ton of tasks, numerous distractions, and great standards you set for your work. When everything gets too hectic and work keeps piling up, finishing everything on time is a luxury at best.
We also know that remote working is not immune to such a desperate state of struggling to meet deadlines. However, when remote working, you have a huge advantage to the landscape for meeting deadlines:
You’re not in the interruption factory called ‘office’.
That is, remote work crowds out the chances of getting stopped by colleagues, office banter, or your boss’s out-of-the-blue requests. Conversely, it brings a better chance to get in the zone for productive and meaningful work. You just need to know a few actionable ways to get you on track when going through rainy days of trying to meet deadlines without compromising the quality of work.
1. Prioritize, prioritize, prioritize
Yes, all of your assigned tasks are important. That is true. But every single one of them cannot have the same scale of importance right away. Prioritizing tasks is the backbone of staying organized, and should therefore come as a first step when trying to get work done. The good news is, having a deadline will only make this process easier; it is non-brainer that you focus on completing tasks whose due date is closer. It is just not always that simple.
A notable resource to use when prioritizing tasks is the Eisenhower Matrix technique. As a highly used technique in management tasks, the Eisenhower Matrix helps separate important tasks from urgent ones. Here’s a visual representation of how this technique works:
Based on the Eisenhower Matrix’s main source, here’s how the technique should be used:
-Urgent + important: You all these tasks first, on the same day.
-Urgent + less important: These tasks can be delegated, since they are urgent but not very important.
-Less urgent + important: These tasks should be scheduled.
-Less urgent + unimportant: You simply don’t need to do them.
2. Working in small chunks
It is not unknown that whenever a new task is assigned, the increased workload can become intimidating. Plus, the due date puts even more pressure! However, when you separate tasks into small doable portions, you can get work done faster, with way less overwhelm. Working into small chunks goes hand in hand with prioritization. As RescueTime suggests, right after prioritizing tasks according to importance and/or urgency, it is good to divide them into smaller tasks, and little by little get everything done in time.
3. Using task management tools
Whether you are a fan of to-do lists or not, task management tools will serve a similar function that actually helps your remote work productivity. If you are a manager or a supervisor, you will feel indebted to the efficiency these tools bring in assigning tasks more clearly, and tracking the progress of completion from the employee’s end. Task management tools are just as useful if you are the supervisee. Keeping track and working on the prioritized small chunks can get more meaningful when listing them on one of these tools at the beginning of your day, and checking them out as you go. Among the top task management tools, we would recommend: Asana, Trello, and Jira.
4. Communicating through the right channels
Communicating frequently with co-workers can help in staying coordinated with tasks. As a Medium article explains, remote work is more prone to loss of coordination because team mates are not working in the same space. However, this can be easily fixed with the right technologies, namely through virtual offices. Because in virtual offices every team member is present in a common workspace, coordinating tasks becomes much easier. With more communication, even collaborating becomes easier, thus helping with deadlines and a lessened workload.