Finding time includes expanding how you use and enjoy your time. After all, if you find new ways to appreciate your moments and enhance your effectiveness within the same 24 hours, the quality of your life is improved!
Soft deadlines are basically “pre-deadlines” that you aim for. If you focus on meeting your soft deadline, small delays won’t force you to collide, unprepared, with a hard, final deadline. You might think of soft deadlines as workable boundary challenges.
With soft deadlines you give yourself room to experiment. And as you explore this tool, you can fine tune what works for you. Play with the ways you use soft deadlines and make a note of your successes so you can repeat them.
As you get the hang of using soft deadlines you’ll noticeably lower your stress. And that means you’ll bring more curiosity and zest to upcoming projects. No matter how you look at it, soft deadlines make time management much easier!
So, here are 5 Tips to Help You Set Successful Soft Deadlines. The next time you create a soft deadline, ask yourself:
- What is your personal history with meeting deadlines? If you habitually drag your heels for any reason, build in buffer time to help overcome your resistance.
- How familiar is this task? Since new projects always require more time, use the “times two” rule. Double your time estimate, to allow for your learning curve and build your soft deadlines around that estimate.
- How easily can your project be derailed? Are you squeezing a big enterprise into an already full space? Expect spillover and schedule accordingly!
- How many people’s support do you depend on to accomplish your project? Add more time as the number of dependencies increases.
- What will happen if you don’t meet your final deadline? Remember – you create your soft deadline to set up a safety zone to protect you from painful outcomes.
As you add to your prioritizing skills by adding soft deadlines, see how they guide you through the day.© Copyright 2012 Paula Eder, Ph.D.