It may seem odd, but it’s true. I live for deadlines. I love them. There’s nothing more satisfying to me than a big, looming deadline ? except perhaps new stationery to assist with said deadline.
Deadlines are great. Not only do they keep teams on their toes, working harder, faster and more efficiently, but they crave organisation. You can’t smash a deadline if you’re not extremely organised.
Working in PR, you’re expected to juggle a million deadlines at once: client deadlines, internal deadlines, supplier deadlines… the list goes on. To really nail the expectations of all of these stakeholders, it’s important that your team is working to a united deadline, with the same milestones to ‘tick off’ along the way. An obsession with to-do lists is a definite plus.
To-Do lists are the life-blood of an organised business. I keep two to-do lists a day. This may seem like overkill, but for the 10 minutes I spend a day compiling my to-do lists, I am left with a highly organised day-to-day plan which means I:
- ?Never miss a deadline (internal, client or other)
- ?Never forget to complete a task that was assigned to me
- ?Never stay back late catching up on minor tasks that should have been completed during a work day
It may come down to something embedded in my psychology about a need to please people (in fact, I’m almost sure it does), but to me, there is nothing worse than failing to deliver on an outcome or timeline that has been promised to a client, or a direct report. Realistic deadlines that are agreed upon even before project commencement lead to realistic timelines and process steps, a more organised team and ultimately, a happy client.
And it doesn’t get much better than that! (Unless you’re offering me free stationery, of course.)