Most deadlines aren’t just one giant event happening on a given day. Rather, there are myriad small deadlines that lead up to that big event.
Managing multiple deadlines is challenging, and I’ve found that one system doesn’t fit every person. You need to proactively find a system that works best for you and implement it consistently.
In our world of “an app for everything”, there are dozens of productivity apps that people can choose from. And, for people who are more less high tech, there are many options as well.
The point is to find what works for you (and this may be a combination of systems) and use it. Observe where you need to refine your process, because the smallest gap may result in the biggest gaffe.
While leaders need to stay organized, they also need to ensure that their teams are doing the same.
Even if you have the greatest team of self-starting, accountable people, everyone needs a check in of some sort. A miss on the smallest detail of a large initiative may be the lynch pin of the bigger deadline.
Make sure your team doesn’t gloss over what appear to be less significant deadlines. Ask them to evaluate how any of these could derail their assignments.
By doing this, you will train them to think more comprehensively about how the various pieces fit together.
Will it be perfect? Probably not at first. But striving to get things done with greater accuracy and fewer misses will have an immeasurable payoff.