Dealing with Missed Deadlines

Published Tuesday, April 24, 2012 8:37 PM

Life throws curveballs. Problems pop up and deadlines go off track. Do your best to keep one step ahead of botched deadlines with a little contingency planning.

While not every problem can be anticipated and planned for in advance, having a general game plan for dealing with missteps will get you back on track faster. The next time a missed deadline looms, reflect on these tips and power through.

Fess Up: If you have missed, or are going to miss a deadline, the first step is coming clean. Let your boss or client know that the deadline isn't going to be met. When possible, give advance notice that the deadline is slipping. By coming clean in advance, you may be able to renegotiate the deadline.  At the very least, your client or boss will appreciate not being blind-sided.

Mea Culpa: Missed deadlines generally mean apologies are in order. If your client or colleague dropped the ball and this resulted in the unmet deadline, this may not apply. But if the responsibility for missing the mark lies with you, a sincere apology is in order.

Get Cracking: Missed deadlines require an action plan for getting the project back on track. Determine if more time, additional staff or new resources are needed to right the course. Having an action plan in place when you reveal a deadline is likely to be missed can help soften the blow and allow you to still appear in control.

Not Again: Once a deadline has been missed, do your utmost to ensure it doesn't happen again. Chronically missing deadlines reflects poorly on your work and time-management skills. Do whatever it takes-work late, get up early, subcontract the work-but get it done on time.

How do you deal with missed deadlines? Do you have tips to ensure you never miss them? Share your thoughts here and on the Pendaflex Facebook page.



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# Julinda said on Friday, July 06, 2012 9:19 PM

I tend to agree to unrealistic deadlines either because I underestimate how much time something will take or I'm not assertive enough to disagree with my boss!  I also don't seem to manage longer-term assignments well - I get busy w/other things or just procrastinate, again underestimating the time it will take.  So missing deadlines is something I deal with, and I appreciate this article!

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Beyond FoldersTM is written by a team of Pendaflex associates passionate about time management, communications, productivity and workplace organization.  Believing in  "continuous improvement" on both a personal and professional level, they share their unique perspectives on subjects of common interest to our readers.

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