Guide to Getting Last-Minute Tasks Done Right

Courtesy of Flickr/Thomas Leuthard

Whether you make a regular habit of it, or you get caught unexpectedly and have to change plans — at some point we will all have a project or tasks that get left to the last minute. So how do you deal with these last minute changes? If you’re a person who’s used to having everything planned out well in advance, (like me) something like this can really throw you off your game.

But it doesn’t have to.

Even when it feels like it’s impossible to get everything done in time, you can still manage your time most effectively.

So what do you do?

  1. Don’t rush in — When you only have a short timespan the tempting thing to do is to jump in right away. First of all make a plan — list all the most essential tasks you need to complete in order to get the project done. So for example if it’s an event you need to plan — list out all the tasks you need to tackle from finding a venue to selecting the menu.
  2. Use every last second — When things don’t go your way you might write off the whole day. But you don’t have to waste all that time just because of a small hiccup! Even if your train is delayed and you get home from work late, just use 5 minutes to plan what you want to do the next day to get the most out of your time.
  3. Call in support — If you can get family or friends to help you out — then why not? We all have to call in favors every once in awhile. Even if the project is something they can’t physically help you with, like a presentation for work, they can still help in other ways. Having someone to talk through your plans with can really help you to solidify them in your mind. Doesn’t even have to be a long conversation! Just make sure that you’re talking about the practical steps you want to take not just moaning about how much work you have to do.
  4. Take a break — It might seem counterproductive, but if your brain is working non stop you’re going to become less and less focussed. Take regular breaks to keep your brain active! I use the Pomodoro Technique of working in 25 minute burst for optimum productivity.
  5. Don’t get overwhelmed — When you have so much to do in such a short span of time you can easily feel like giving up! If you think you have too much to do then focus on doing a good job on some of it, rather than a poor attempt to do the whole thing.

What are some of your last-minute productivity tips?