12 Ways To Handle Deadline Stress Effectively

Office deadline. Business workers managers stress running on workplaces at work vector characters. Illustration of office stress, business workplace

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.

2. Set Fake Deadlines

If the deadline is Thursday, say it’s Tuesday. The entire team goes into a high red zone and push to finish. This gives them time to review and make modifications. After a couple of times, they’d be wise to this. 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.

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.

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!

5. 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.

6. 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.

7. Define Deadline Protocol

Implement a system with tools and processes designed to tackle impending deadlines. 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 the level of complexity. Start with medium-level tasks to boost your feeling of accomplishment.

8. 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.

9. 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!

10. 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.

11. Build In Extra Time 

The best way to handle deadlines is to give yourself 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.

12. 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.

recruiting right

Here Is How You Can Recruit And Keep The Perfect Workers For Your Startup

improve employee relations

5 Steps To Improving Employee Relationship