… for Random Weirdness

Tip #761: 5 Tips to Make Your Deadlines

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

No time like the present to get yourself organized.

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This article first appeared in MotionArray.com. This is an excerpt.

Deadlines are the bane of every video creator’s existence — but often the only way we can get our work done. But the worst feeling an artist or producer can have is when they miss a deadline. Often it’s not even their fault, but various circumstances cause deadlines to be missed every day.

Here are five ways to avoid missing those deadlines and having angry clients breathing down your neck.

  1. Make Fake Deadlines. Work expands to fill the time. If you know you have a deadline coming up in five days, you’ll likely take five days to get the work done. Instead, set false deadlines a few days before the actual deadline. This will alleviate the feeling of impending doom that surrounds deadlines because you’ll always be ahead of schedule and you’ll always have time to fix issues.
  2. Hold Clients Accountable. Many times deadlines are missed because of clients. To eliminate this problem, set up a detailed timeline for your projects that includes dates and times for client feedback. Get them to sign off on the feedback calendar ahead of time.
  3. Get Organized. The easiest way to miss a deadline is to forget to make a change until the last minute or altogether. Clients can sometimes be unclear with notes. They may give you some notes on a call, and others in an email (or several). With information coming from all directions, it’s easy to miss something. Figure out an organization method for changes that work for you.
  4. Make Friends. Sometimes we miss deadlines because we take on more than we can handle. Network with other professionals who can make up for your weaknesses. When possible, hire them to help you out so that you deliver above your client’s expectations and on time. Templates are another great way to get things done quickly and to help you cover for certain skills you may lack.
  5. Learn to Say No. One thing is for sure, if you start missing deadlines, your clients won’t come back. Taking on a job that you don’t have time for, or is above your skill set can do more damage than good. Let the client know that you’d love to help them, but you just won’t be able to get it done as proposed. They’ll thank you for it.

EXTRA CREDIT

The article linked above has more details, along with links to software, templates and other tools that can help you stay on track.


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