7 cardinal sins of deadlines

If an impending project’s due date has you feeling sick to your stomach—or if you’re a serial procrastinator—make sure you don’t commit one of these deadly mistakes.

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Your phone buzzes. A reminder flashes on the screen. A lump clogs your throat. You have a deadline, and it is today.

We all know the feeling of inadvertently letting something slip off our radar and then realizing it much too late. It’s not pleasant. The responsibility of meeting deadlines applies to us all, whether we’re parents, chefs, CEOs, teachers, reporters, PR pros or otherwise occupied.

My colleagues and I regularly work under deadlines for our clients: wiring press releases, placing contributed articles, drafting award nominations, creating metrics reports or submitting conference speaker proposals. Some deadlines are very tight.

There are common mistakes to avoid to ensure you beat the clock. Here’s our list of the seven cardinal sins related to workplace deadlines:

1. You assume you don’t need approval or review. Give yourself (and your colleagues) plenty of time to review, revise and/or approve the respective project. Don’t expect that no one else has to see it before it’s considered complete. It’s very likely someone does, and at the very least, it’s always helpful to have another pair of eyes on the work.

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