Due to tight deadlines and the high demands of customers, it can quickly become the case that work is carried out at a stressful level. As a result, both the health of employees and the quality of the project suffer.
The best way to deal with time pressure is to prevent it from happening in the first place. However, this is almost impossible to avoid in project management. That’s why it’s even more important that you know how to deal with time pressure. You can use it to your and your project team’s advantage.
In this blog, we will show you what to do, what steps you should take in such a stressful situation, and what tips you can use to turn the resulting time pressure to your advantage!
1. Keep calm, lower your stress level
Before you start to fight against the time pressure, you should first keep calm. This sounds easy, but it helps in many situations. The more you let yourself be driven by hectic, the more unproductive and unfocused you will be when tackling the tasks ahead. By taking a breath and allowing yourself a few quiet minutes, you can reduce the stress that has arisen and clear your head.
2. Take a bird’s eye view
Once you have a clear head and you have lowered your stress level, it helps to take a bird’s eye view and look at the project from a distance. Put yourself in the shoes of an outsider and assess the current state of the project. Most of the time, you can take some extra pressure off yourself and focus on the tasks ahead.
Simultaneously, you can develop a worst-case scenario by asking yourself what is the worst that can happen?
This will help you to be prepared for all situations and to keep calm and think clearly even in the most difficult situations.
Most of the time, however, you will find that even such scenarios are not worth all the time pressure.
3. Make a plan
After you have evaluated the project and the current situation, the next step is to make a plan that is adapted to the current situation and will get you to your goal as quickly and effectively as possible. A good plan serves as a common thread from the ACTUAL state of the project to the TARGET state – successful completion.
“An hour of planning can save you 10 hours of doing.”Dale Carnegie
Especially when you are dealing with time pressure, a good plan adapted to the current situation of the project team is one of the most effective ways to keep projects on track.
4. Implementing – monotasking
By putting a plan in place and making things happen, the time pressure automatically decreases. Because at this moment you are already working on the things that will bring you closer to the goal, namely the achievement of your project. Always concentrate on a single task.
Even though the day can be stressful and you have a thousand things to do, focus firmly on completing one task before moving on to the next. This will help you move forward faster and accomplish your tasks successfully even under time pressure.
5. Say no
Give yourself permission to say no to incoming tasks that come your way besides the important project. Especially for tasks that do not meet your prioritization criteria, you should delegate to other employees or push them back in importance. This will give you more time to focus on the important things.
6. Work as good as necessary, but not perfect
Learn to curb your perfectionism and don’t dwell on the little things that are rather unimportant. To make it easier for yourself when doing projects, you can apply the well-known Pareto principle. The principle allows you to focus on the most important tasks of the project. You will leave out smaller details, as well as tasks that are not essential for accomplishing the project.
Instead, you can spend your energy and especially your time on the top tasks.
These were six tips that we hope will help you use time pressure to your advantage. We’re eager to hear your feedback!
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