Handling Multiple Deadlines With Less Stress

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Half the stress of meeting deadlines comes from the anxiety of not knowing what your boss expects from you. If your boss says “as soon as possible” try and get a concrete time frame. When you get an assignment, your conversation should end with restating the details and a specific date.

Let interested parties know early

Let all parties know that while you will try to meet their deadline there may be a chance that their project won’t be completed at the desired time. Though many bosses seem to pile on the pressure, most understand that you are human. They just don’t want to be told at the last minute. Informing everyone earlier prepares them. If someone becomes angry, let them know that you will try your best to meet their deadline; however, you are not willing to compromise on quality. Even if the person states that they would rather have it on time and sacrifice quality, try not to give in. The end product is a reflection on you and poorly done project can have damaging effects on your future prospects.


Just because a specific date was given, doesn’t mean that it’s set in stone. You can negotiate a later completion date if the project date is too close to others. To do this effectively, negotiate when the task is given rather than asking for more time later. When asking for a postponed date, be sure to make a compelling case. Don’t tell your boss to move the date simply because you are stressed; explain why you need more time. Let your boss know what other assignments you are working on. Never assume that your boss knows your workload. They sometimes forget what they assign their employees, so reminders are necessary.

Delegate responsibilities

Create a schedule that will give you insight to how many weeks and days you have to complete each project, if the schedule reveals that deadlines will be impossible to meet, delegate responsibility. Carefully break down the project into stages then assign specific tasks with time frames for completion. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, even if you are used to doing everything yourself. Delegating will help you cut down your workload and reduce stress.

Turn down jobs

If you own your own company you can turn down work that you can’t complete on time. However, if you work for an employer you may not be able to turn down work. In this case, let your employer know what your schedule is. That way he can prioritize accordingly.

Cut out distractions

The average worker wastes 2 hours a day according to a survey down by America online and Salary.com, this is excluding lunch. To help reduce wasted time try turning off your cell phone. Do the hardest task of the day when you are most focused. And don’t offer to help other coworkers until you have done your own work.

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