4 ways to meet your PR deadlines

Without a sense of urgency, we might let certain tasks languish indefinitely. Here are some tactics to make your ‘due by’ dates less onerous.

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Today’s definition of a deadline is “the time by which something must be finished or submitted,” but it gets its name from an older and more sinister meaning. It used to be a boundary around a military prison beyond which a prisoner could not venture without risk of being shot by the guards. Scary. Think about that next time you fear a workplace zero hour.

The advantage of deadlines is that they’re motivational. When you make the deadline, the feeling of achievement makes the next step or task that much easier.

“Publicly committing to meeting a deadline is a powerful motivator, because it puts your reputation on the line,” said Dan Ariely, a professor of psychology and behavioral economics at Duke University. It’s much more difficult to procrastinate when someone else is watching the clock—and you.

Here are some tips to meet that looming deadline:

Start with specifics

When exactly is the deadline? Clarify whether “end of the week” means 5 p.m. Friday or first thing Friday morning. Be sure to nail down the tasks and the results. What is the client expecting? How will they measure your success/effectiveness?

Make a plan and start easy

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