Do you often become stressed out and tense whenever you have a project deadline to meet? You’re not alone, everyone has one deadline lurking around the corner. In fact, research conducted by a career and job site on workplace-related stress found that about 38% of people see deadlines as their biggest source of anxiety.
Also some surveys showed that more people were afraid of not meeting up with deadlines than they were of actually losing their life at work.
Stress is often a physiological and psychological response to situations the mind and body find to be overwhelming. But luckily, there are some good ways to reduce overall stress associated with project deadlines.
Without further ado, check out these measures:
Always Have a Plan in Mind
You’ve probably heard the popular saying, “If you fail to plan, then you plan to fail.” This is very true, even in relation to your projects or work tasks.
Setting a clear project plan gives you direction and this is the first key to success in meeting deadlines. You can break a project down into smaller steps, just like you’d eat a pie- one slice at a time.
Here’s one trick you can adopt – Always plan to finish a day or two before the deadline. In other words, always create earlier deadlines for yourself. This pushes you to accomplish so much that you end up covering most of your project tasks before they are due. This is a good way to ward off stress situations.
Don’t Joke with Physical Exercise, Good Nutrition, and Sleep
When your body and mind is in good shape, you can easily ward off stress. As your deadline approaches, you tend to get tense and this affects your productivity. But exercising is a good stress reliever and it helps improve your overall quality of life.
Also, your nutrition is also important when you’re working hard to meet deadlines. Stress often depletes certain nutrients in the body, including vitamins A, B, C, E, magnesium, and other minerals.
Magnesium is an essential mineral that helps reduce stress, boost energy and proper sleep, and support brain function. Unfortunately, most of us do not get enough of this mineral, and other important nutrients in our diet.
Well, good news for you – You can now take natural supplements to reduce stress. Interestingly, research has shown that getting enough magnesium in your diet is a good way to stay stress-free, sleep well, and improve your brain function.
Also, try to get rest when you’re stressed out with deadlines. Sleep helps improve mental clarity and your ability to focus.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help
Most times, we become anxious and tense when we’re trying to do too much all alone. Raising your hand and asking your colleagues or coworkers for help is a good way to reduce stress.
Research estimates suggest that 90% of help coworkers offer each other started by a direct call for assistance.
Don’t try to kill yourself thinking you’re too efficient. You’ll break down and the company or industrial activities won’t stop because of you. So ask for help when you can. It helps reduce stress a great deal.
Leverage Project Management Tools
You can leverage technological tools like Workfront or Asana to help you plan your project smartly and manage time. Also, tools like Slack help you collaborate and share information faster with your team without having to send emails or schedule many meetings.
You may also consider saving relevant files on cloud or other digital asset management tools. This way, you can easily find what you need to work faster and smarter, thereby reducing stress associated with missing data, disorganized information and lost files.
Sometimes, you just need to step back and meditate first on the whole project. Take your mind off the project deadline and look at it objectively.
By decluttering your mind from the stress that comes with deadlines, you tend to stay more focused and productive to reach your project deadline.
Also, it is important to change the way you think about stress. Don’t think of deadlines as stress-inducing. Instead embrace it as an interesting challenge. Encourage yourself to make lists and organize your task in an attainable timeframe.
There you have it – smart ways to reduce stress when meeting project deadlines. Do not forget that high-pressure deadlines are never going to end. Everyone cannot avoid dealing with deadlines, but everyone can adopt the list of approaches highlighted above.
However, if you’re constantly under stress even when a deadline is not in view, you should consider seeing your doctor for the best way out.