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Tips to Make Your Deadline…Every Time

18th December 2012 Posted in Blog, Documentation, Writing 2 Comments

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Writers are notorious for having troubles meeting deadlines. No matter how organized you are, and no matter how little work you have to do, there will come a time when you start to sweat. There will come a time when you have to pull an all-nighter to reach a deadline and to make a client happy.

Does it always have to be this way? Absolutely not. There are several strategies to ensure you’re on top of your deadlines every single time. Here are just three:

  • Start as soon as possible – When you first get a project, start working on it immediately. Even if you just review the project brief to see if you have any questions, make sure you’re starting off strong so momentum is easier to build.
  • Make a plan – Create a plan of attack for your project so it’s clear what you need to do and when you need to do it. Plan for research time, writing time, editing time, etc. (And always plan for more time than you think you need.)
  • Use a fake deadline – It can help to tell yourself something is due three days before its actual due date. When you use this, you can trick yourself into being on time, even when you might be running up against that fake deadline.

The more you employ these strategies, the more likely you are to make your deadline when you need to make your deadline. Even though you might not be able to finish weeks ahead of time, if you can get things done without stressing yourself out, then that’s a successful assignment process.

Writing deadlines are manageable, when you’re in control of how you reach them. Stop sitting around in front of the TV, hoping inspiration will strike. Plant yourself in your chair and get started today.

What other tips do you have for helping writers meet their deadlines? Please leave a comment and share what’s worked for you.

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  1. By Dave Blaineon 18th, December 2012 at 5:05 pm

    A variant of “fake deadline,” I find midpoint of schedule, define a milestone, then midpoint of the 1st half and do same. I iterate until the distance to 1st deadline is no more than 3 working days.

  2. By editoron 18th, December 2012 at 5:33 pm

    That’s really breaking it down – thanks for the suggestion, Dave.

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