6 smart tips for deadline work

Whether you’re assigning a project or being asked to deliver one by a certain date and time, you should be candid, specific and courteous.

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We all have deadlines.

Do we all respect other people’s deadlines, though? No, unfortunately.

Well, maybe that’s a bit harsh. Perhaps we screw up other people’s deadlines inadvertently. A little forethought can avoid such logjams and eliminate friction along the way.

Here are a few ways to stick to your deadlines without sticking it to your colleagues and clients:

1. Be courteous: Ask before you ask. Projects and assignments are part of most workplaces, so assigning or requesting a particular task is probably part of the daily routine. That might also be true for a dozen other people with the same sense of timing. It’s wise to preface your request with, “Say, Glenda, what’s your workload today (or this week)?” Doing so conveys respect for her time, prevents you from overloading her and helps ensure that your project won’t get pushed to a back burner—or forgotten altogether. If you can let your co-worker know well in advance of an imminent assignment, so much the better.

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