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#FridayFact: Deal with Trouble in Advance

#FridayFact: Deal with Trouble in Advance published on 16 Comments on #FridayFact: Deal with Trouble in Advance

Infographic: How to Beat Deadline StressAt some point, you are going to face a challenge that threatens your progress on a project in the workplace. No matter how hard you work, it’s bound to happen. Sometimes it’s your fault. Sometimes someone else is to blame.

Regardless of who is responsible, the important question is how you will respond. You have to decide what you can do that will preserve your (and/or the company’s) reputation while still satisfying the needs and requirements of your client.

That is where today’s #FridayFact comes in: The best strategy is to let people know of problems immediately. I don’t mean call the stakeholders in a panic, of course. Meet with your team or your manager, and figure out how to handle the situation.

As soon as you have a plan, let your stakeholders know. Tell them what happened, why it happened (if pertinent), and what you are going to do. Don’t blame anyone. That doesn’t help. Focus on how you will do your best to get the project in as close to the deadline as possible.

Sometimes you need your stakeholders to help with the solution. Perhaps they will need to approve a new supply or a different design. In those cases, you meet with your team to figure out the alternatives and their strengths and weaknesses. Once you have the options figured out, contact the stakeholders with the information, giving them a recommendation for the best choice.

In addition to my suggestions, check out The Muse’s suggestions for What to Do When You Know You’re Going to Miss a Deadline.

 

 

P.S. Anyone other than me bugged by the gender representation in that infographic? Notice that it’s all men, except for the suggestion that deals with cleaning. Grr.

 

 

Note: This infographic has a transcript.


 

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Mark Marut
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Mark Marut

I completely agree with the infographic, and the article. It’s inevitable that at one point something will come up, and you won’t be able to meet a deadline. I wouldn’t really do it any other way than how the article suggests. Even now with school, there are times when I get overwhelmed with four tests a week along with homework assignments and research, and just letting my professors know or asking for extensions has always worked for me. When it comes to situations like this, communication is your best friend. In my schooling I have gotten tests moved to an earlier or later date to avoid more than two tests a week, which has alleviated a lot of stress, and made me feel better and perform better overall. Teachers are fairly understanding and they understand the struggles we go through as students, and I would hope that in the future when I begin to work, my boss will understand that there are things of my control, and hopefully they will be understanding.

Mariel Jastrebsky
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Mariel Jastrebsky

I agree. I think the infographic and article do a great job of portraying that in times of stress there are ways to alleviate it. I do think if your tasks are written down and a general timeframe for when it should get done is important to stay organized. I also think they should be labeled in terms of urgency of when to get it done. Also, if you do happen to make a mistake, owning up to it and moving forward are important to succeeding.

Zac Smith
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Zac Smith

I also agree. School can be very overwhelming at times and with the semester coming to the end, a lot of assignments and tests are due. I find the infographic shows a great way to deal with all that stress. I know personally I do most of this to deal with stress anyways, but the one thing I struggle with is clock-checking. When I get stressed about a deadline I will continue to check the clock which only makes me more stressed. I also find taking a walk a very good way to relieve stress but I guess that can be included in taking a break.

Cassie Bienert
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Cassie Bienert

In regards to the gender representation, I just see it as men are more likely to get behind 😉

I agree in step 1 about doing to hardest tests at the optimum hours. My energy also wanes as I continue working on a project so I like to get the hard things out of the way faster. Once I know I have finished the hardest part Im more likely to continue working on the project because I don’t dread it as much, and my anxiety relaxes. In regards to distractions – I think they can be used as mini rewards. I usually tell myself that I can check my phone after a certain amount of writing or time studying has passed. I have a lot more “stamina” when I take mini breaks between small intervals of working. Of course, it can be hard to enjoy a break when you are fixated on a hard task with an upcoming deadline.

I also read that even a 30 minute nap is enough to energize you to keep working so even though you are losing 30 minutes of work time it will be worth it to increase your post-nap efficiency.

Hopefully no one has an issue with deadlines as we have all made a schedule of work!

Danielle Lehman
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Danielle Lehman

I agree with Mark that communication is super helpful in order to avoid being put in super stressful situations. Recently I had to get an assignment’s due date pushed back for one of my classes because I had a family emergency that I had to go to. I was able to talk to my professor about what was going on and he gave me an extension on the assignment. Without communication in that situation, I feel like I would have been in a super stressful situation of trying to get the assignment done in time for the due date.

The infographic talks about tidying up your desk and removing distractions. There have been times when I had a lot of work to get done in a short time. In those situations, in order to save time and be a little less stressed, I would put my phone elsewhere and I would sign out of the texting on my Mac. That way I was able to avoid getting distractions from my friends and get the work done that I needed to.

Yoonjin Kim
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Yoonjin Kim

I also agree with Mark. Communication is the key to avoid any further conflicts. Most of the professors are pretty generous about the deadlines or help if we communicate them in time. I also feel the article as the very useful material. I usually am the person who waits until the deadline, so my solution for the project is set the milestones for myself for each deadline. When I feel like I have to meet the deadline for those milestones I set, I made sure to finish the amount that I planned to finish just like the actual deadlines. But I disagree with the stop-clock-checking technique since i think I work better when I am keeping track with how much time I send on certain part and deadlines.

Katie
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Katie

I think that the infographic is pretty on-point with the advice it gives. However, it’s talking about a situation when you really have only one project–something I personally have yet to come across in either a school or a working environment. Therefore, I would have to add that switching between tasks is a good tool to use when one becomes overwhelming or you need a break. Your mind is able to focus completely on something very different, which is a “break” yet still productive. I will also use the “easier” project as the warm-up for the harder project, and then go switch after I’ve completed the hardest parts of the harder projects. In addition, I’ve used the pomodoro method suggested by Dr. Dufour in the chapter we read a few weeks ago since the time I learned about it. It’s a good breakdown of time on/time off, though I do adjust it depending on what I’m doing (it’s easier to use it for writing than say p-chem problems, because one problem might take me more than one pomodoro and I hate stopping at 3/4 done!).

Christian Arroz
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Christian Arroz

This is so relevant to this certain period of the school year for me! I consistently feel as though it’s one assignment after the next with no break, very easy to feel overwhelmed. I agree the gender representation in this infographic is buggy, shows how important it is to include global/ethical issues in reports and analysis to identify these shortcomings. Letting professors, managers, or coworkers know immediately if something holds back a deadline helps bring transparency to the relationship and allows you to release worries early before procrastination and responsibilities get ahead. I had trouble sleeping this past week and can definitely see the usefulness in getting A LOT of rest when there are a lot of things to do

Kimberly Williams
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Kimberly Williams

I agree with Katie in that this infographic is under the assumption that you only have one task or project to work on which rarely occurs in real life. She also makes a great point about how switching between tasks is a good alternative to taking breaks. I often find myself doing this with my school work, especially when I have reached a point where I am having difficulty working on a particular assignment. By switching to another subject or assignment, I find that by taking my mind off of the issues I am having with one assignment that I often come up with the answer in the midst of working on something else.

Tripp Agnor
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Tripp Agnor

This infographic offers some very useful tips to help handle adverse, or complicated situations before they get out of hand. I can relate to this infographic because I often have a hard time doing tip number 2, which is to stop clock checking. When I get nervous or anxious I tend to constantly check the clock to see how long I’ve worked on something. Constantly checking the time can get you out of your rhythm and ultimately hurt your productivity. Also, I have found it effective to follow tip 4 and take a break every once in a while. Taking a break when you get to a good stopping point, or a point where you begin to feel yourself stall out is a good way to refresh your mind and allow you to step away from a work to recollect your thoughts.

Matthew Erwin
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Matthew Erwin

I think the infographic hit it spot on. If you have a major project or deliverable due, it is daunting and even discouraging just thinking, “Oh man I have all this to get done in two days.” Breaking it down into steps or smaller tasks, brings it to a much more manageable level, and it feels nice to cross it off your list one-by-one. At least doing that has helped me a ton during my research deliverables.
I agree with the power naps 100%. I have been the worst with pulling all-nighters to get my responsibilities done. Your brain just wont function at full capacity when you deprive yourself of sleep. Its been hard to learn when to just drop your work for 30minutes when a deadline breathing down your neck. But get into that habbit of periodic breaks and stop pulling all nighters, and your productivity will sky rocket.

Clement Boateng
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Clement Boateng

The info-graphic is helpful in confirming how to deal with unexpected challenges in the professional world. Like it says, errors are always bound to happen. However, dealing with it the right way can eradicate any effects. We seem to usually blame errors on specific people. That is not how it has to be because that never solves the problem. I had knew some of these steps in the past but I did not consider it so relevant. This info-graphic has confirmed has confirmed that knowledge, and I will be glad to hold on to this piece of advise for future unexpected errors.

Yibo Xu
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Yibo Xu

I totally agree with the infographic and the article above. It’s inevitable to have these kind of challenges and threatens when you are making your progress. For me on my own, I need to talk to my professor and the engineer in the company. They might say that my idea is stupid and not even worth a try. I have to say that they might be right but I just don’t want to give up so early. This infographic inspires me that I may break down my goal to pieces, build it step by step and ask questions one by one but not just throw whole idea to the one that I want to ask. Maybe the pieces of my project not that hard to figure out and after all things have been asked, I would know if this is going to work or not.

Zachary Cohen
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Zachary Cohen

I thought that this was a really good infographic with some very good tips in it. I know that I personally experience some stress as a deadline approaches, so having something like this will be a useful tool. I already either do or have heard of most of the ideas on this infographic, but one that I really like that I’ve never heard of before is “clean your workspace”. My desk is always sort of cluttered, but I had never thought about how that would affect my work efficiency. I think that tomorrow I’m going to try cleaning my desk and then see if it improves my work efficiency.

Zachary Cohen
Guest
Zachary Cohen

I really liked this infographic. I know that I personally experience stress sometimes as a deadline approaches, so having a tool like this will be extremely useful. I’ve heard of a lot of the tips on this infographic before, but one that I hadn’t heard of that I really like is to “clean your workspace”. My desk is always very cluttered, but I had never thought about how this may affect my work efficiency. I think that I’m going to try to clean off my desk tomorrow and see how that affects my work.

Moqi Zhang
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Moqi Zhang

I totally agree with this topic. I always have trouble with the deadline, it likes that I always start to work hard just a few days before the deadline, and the last day before the deadline is the most productive days of this assignment. I think the first thing I need to do it to make a personal deadline in advance, which encourages me to finish every work by the deadline of my schedule. The article “When You miss a Deadline ” is really helpful for me, it told me how to communicate with my professors.

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