Advice to anyone who has to collect applications, never make two different applications due on the same day…it’s crazy. I don’t know if you are like me but I hate collecting applications because it clutters my desk and inbox. I’m a moron for thinking, “Oh I’ll kill two birds with one stone.” because now I have a lot of dead birds on my desk. Phew, okay but the thing that kills me are deadlines. No matter how firm I try to hold to them, no matter how hard I try to remind people to keep them it that last moment of when things should be completed never seems to stick. So how do you handle deadlines?
- For Firm Deadlines: If it’s late, too bad because systems and structures are too important. If you don’t process certain paperwork in time then you get behind which could mean an extra charge, a loss in deposit or worse…more work. Deadlines are there to keep order, and if order isn’t kept, progress could be jeopardized.
- For Loose Deadlines: Life happens, people get sick, preoccupied, their worlds fall apart, so to keep firm to deadlines can be unjust. If you say no to a teen because they are one day late handing in the application you could be saying, no to an experience that could change their life. Besides should we hold people to an expectation we know we can’t always meet?
I go back and forth on the issue and I’ve handled both extremes and unfortunately got burned at both ends. Whether or not you are firm with your deadlines it really comes down to how you handle the process leading up to it. To prevent the chaos we need to communicate, update and encourage people to take the time and meet the deadline.
How do you help others meet deadlines?