It’s Crunch Time!

Whether you work from home or out of your home, it is virtually certain that at some point you will be faced with a deadline. How you will handle the pressure of needing to get something done by a certain point in time largely depends upon your individual circumstances. Having said that, there are a few general tips that those of us that work from home may find useful when we find ourselves in a time crunch.

First, do not keep the fact that you have a deadline to meet a secret. Your spouse and children are not mind readers. If they were, you could put them to work as fortune tellers and bring in a little extra cash that way. Explain to everyone that you have a short amount of time to finish something important for work and that you need his or her help to make it happen. Tell each of them specifically how they can help you, and be sure to mention how much you appreciate their assistance. You may be surprised at how willing they are to pitch in.

Secondly, try as much as possible to avoid the time crunch. This is a tough one for me, as I always seem to finish projects at the very last minute no matter how hard I try to do otherwise. Deadlines for projects are usually set so that you have plenty of time to complete the work within the allocated time. The problem comes when you write the deadline on your calendar and then think that it is so far off in the future that there is no need to begin work on it today. Today turns into tomorrow, tomorrow turns into next week, and before you know it, the deadline is fast approaching and you have not started on the project yet.

One thing that I am often able to do to help myself avoid a time crunch is to break the project up into smaller sections, and set a mini-deadline for completing each section. This strategy gets me started on the project sooner, and even if I fall short of one of the mini-deadlines, I am in a much better position than I would be if I did not start working on the project until later on.

Finally, if you do find yourself in a time crunch where extreme measures must be taken (note: for me, “extreme” means anything that has me staying up so late that I get less than five hours of sleep), take a deep breath and relax before you dive into your work. You will get it done. You may be tired tomorrow, but hopefully your family will be just as understanding and helpful as they were today.