Updated: Feb 15
Every other day as a creative, you will encounter clients who demand that you make magic in as short a time as possible. When you find yourself in this position, it's advisable that you push and settle for a time frame that you know is attainable. This is important because falling behind schedule puts your professional reputation at risk but on the flip side, delivering a high standard project on schedule helps build it up.
Here are some tips on how how to deliver projects within short timelines:
Do not waste valuable time struggling with tasks that are not your strong suit.
Once you have a project on hand, create a schedule around the work to be done with reasonable timelines, tasks assigned to team members, expected delivery dates and more. This helps you to keep things in focus and tick off tasks as they're executed.
Break down the project tasks and goals into hourly, daily, weekly deliverables, depending on how long you have and make sure to keep track of them, marking them off your to-do list once done. If you have a dedicated workspace, pin your to-do list, concept visuals among other things on a wall where you can easily see them, it helps you keep your target in focus.
It's of utmost importance that you're very realistic with the exact time frame or at least a close estimate within which it will take you to complete a project. You also have to clearly communicate this to your clients or team so expectations are appropriately managed.
Stick to the familiar
Short delivery time projects are not ones to be overly adventurous with, so you should make sure to work with people that you’ve had experience with prior. This reduces the time that would have been spent understanding and blending work styles.
Short deadlines mean that there is no room for mistakes. Therefore, keep communication amongst your team members open and unambiguous. To make things easy, use tools such as Asana, Trello and more to outline tasks and assign them to the appropriate team members to ensure there is clear understanding of role expectations.
Ask for help
Do not waste valuable time struggling with tasks that are not your strong suit. If you or anyone on your team is unable to complete a task effectively, reach out to other people by asking for support or collaborative partnership.
You can draft and send out proposals to other creatives stating your interest, how they can help and the benefit they stand to gain from the support or collaboration.
Delivering a quality project within a short deadline will stretch your capabilities and resources, but it will also refine you. It also contributes greatly to growing your reputation and impressing your valuable work ethics on your clients.