As a writer, meeting deadlines is the test of efficiency. It is also one yardstick for measuring a writer’s time management skills. You can chronicle amazingly sellable ideas with all the prerequisites of good writing, but if you do not deliver the project within the assigned time frame, you cannot pride yourself as an efficient writer. However, there are some thumb rules to meeting your writing deadlines.
Prioritising your writing task: In our elementary romance with economics, we were taught the basic rudiments of priority, technically referred to as ‘scale of preference’. Just like the word suggests, it entails listing your tasks in their order of significance.
As a writer working on time-bound deliverables, it is pertinent to allot the time you assign to your daily itineraries based on their order of importance. The time your client wants his project delivered is as important as how you deliver it. So appropriate the attention you give to your engagements in a way that doesn’t interfere with your writing task, especially when it is what puts food on your table.
Pragmatism: This entails dealing with things realistically. It involves handling things in a practical way, not based on theoretical considerations. The bane of many professionals is that they are good at setting and accomplishing tasks verbally, as opposed to doing so practically. Procrastination is at the core of every missed deadline. We keep scheduling and rescheduling to fit an imaginary perfect time, but ironically there is never a perfect time. You just need to start writing and keep writing.
Taking breaks: Sometimes, there is this trepidation with which a writer approaches a new project. He feels some resentment towards a certain project, especially if it is on an issue where he has shallow knowledge. When this happens, it is good to pause and engage in activities that interest you. You can see a movie, listen to music, take a walk, swim, or go on a tour to help rejuvenate your mind and gain new perspectives.
Turn down deadlines you cannot meet: Do not accept deadlines you cannot meet. What is out of reach is out of reach. Taking a project you cannot execute within the allotted time frame is shooting yourself in the leg because, at the end of the day, a disappointed client is almost a foregone client. By committing yourself to an unattainable standard, you risk damaging your self-esteem and reputation as a writer. More so, the fear of not meeting future deadlines may settle in your mind, thereby affecting your confidence to stake a claim to future projects.
Set daily benchmarks: Set daily benchmarks for word counts. You can break the total word count for a project into certain figures per day. For instance, if you are given a 7000-word book to deliver in a month, you can split your word counts into 225 words per day.
This will not only help you meet the project deadline, but will also allow you to carry out more detailed research on every idea or fact you pen down. Ensure you don’t overcommit yourself too. It is important not to set unrealistic goals; deadlines are manageable when you strive to be accountable and productive. Stay focused, and you’ll be sure to meet your deadline in time.
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