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Manage Stress : Manage Job Stress - Meet Your Deadlines

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If your jobs have high visibility, must be completed to a deadline, or involve co-ordinating several people to achieve a single goal, you will need a planning tool that is more powerful than your to do list.

Develop an Action Plan

The use of an action plan can help you to make a credible assessment of the amount of time you’ll need to manage a medium-sized project with a reasonable deadline.

  • Write down all the tasks for the project in the order in which they need to be completed.

  • Estimate the duration of each task and add a contingency to allow for any time lost.

  • Calculate how long the plan will take to complete.

This sequential task list will also show you what resources you will need for each task and when you will need them. You can now work out a realistic delivery time, helping you to develop a reputation for reliability while shielding yourself from deadline stress.

Delegate Tasks

If you are successful in your career, the demands on you will soon become greater than you are able to cope with on your own. As you approach this point, you will find your stress levels rising. If your role up to now has been very hands on, you may find it difficult to hand over jobs that you know you can do. Delegation is the skill that you must acquire to manage this work and to ensure that it is delivered.

Decide What to Delegate

Work through your action plan and see whether there are any tasks that can be delegated to someone who is not as overloaded as you and who can help you.

Find the Right Person

Look for someone who is capable and willing to do the work, and who has the time to do it properly. Brief her fully, telling her:

  • Why the job needs to be done, and how this will help the client, the organization, or the team.

  • What needs to be done and what has to be delivered.

  • The resources that are available and the constraints within which the work will need to be carried out.

  • The date by which the work needs to be completed.

  • That you will be available to give information or coaching where needed.

  • The checkpoints during the project at which you will review progress.

Then let go (until the first checkpoint)!

Delegate Successfully

  • NEGATIVE IMPACT

  • Retaining the best tasks and delegating the worst

  • Refusing to allow people to perform the delegated tasks in their own way

  • Failing to appreciate effort

  • HIGH IMPACT

  • Delegating tasks on the basis of people's ability to do them

  • Monitoring at regular, agreed checkpoints someone who is performing a delegated task

  • Showing your appreciation

5 Minute Fix

If your action plan shows that you won’t make your deadline, take five minutes to look at your strategy.

  • Find out whether more resources are available to speed up the work.

  • Delegate some of the essential tasks.

  • Propose a revised delivery date. Don’t let people down at the last minute.

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