It's easy to become overwhelmed when time is tight and the pressure is on. Use these 7 management hacks the next time you sense that you're about to lose control. They will help you to get things back in perspective and manage your way through those stressful times, which we all struggle with from time to time:

  1. Place Laser-Like Focus on What's Important and ignore the rest! Know that you can't get everything done at once. So, when you're under the gun, you must prioritize your efforts. Place emphasis on the most important things and work to accomplish them first.
  2. Create a Critical Path through the work that must be done. With a focus on the essential, determine the quickest way through to the completion of those things. This critical path will be your recipe for success. Drive you effort down through this path.
  3. Delegate What You Can and save the rest for yourself. Once you know what needs to be done, you can deputize your people to help you get to the finish line. Delegate any activity that can be done by someone else and focus on doing the work that's left.
  4. Time-box Each Key Activity and move on to the next item when the time allocated has expired. When the work at hand is abundant, complex and time-consuming, it is helpful to set a time-limit on the time that you will spend in completing each element. Doing so will enable you to not get bogged down on any one aspect of the work and the variety will give your mind a break that can lead to improved productivity across the board.
  5. Limit Distractions by turning off phones and limiting email time. The best productivity tool ever invented is your ability to focus. Being "forever connected" can drain your energy and sidetrack you from getting things done. When you're in crunch mode shut off phones and resist reading your email and instant messages, unless they are essential to completing the work that you're currently doing.
  6. Forget "Perfect" when time is of the essence. Instead, work to achieving "good enough." Our perfectionistic tendencies can be our biggest downfall in high pressure situations. Instead, trust your instincts and take comfort in your experience. Don't strive for perfection know that your "good enough" will be enough to be successful and continue forward.
  7. Slow Down and Execute. Working in a rush only adds to the feeling of helplessness and launches cortisol and other stress hormones ripping through your body. If you've read my previous articles, you already know that I'm a huge proponent of the value of slowing down to go fast. Take that advice and you'll get more done and reduce the need to re-work a sloppy performance down-the-road.

To close, these 7 hacks can make a huge difference the next time you're under the gun. I like them so much that I have them tacked up on the wall of my home office, where they can be quickly referenced whenever I need to be reminded of how to best manage my way through crunch time. You may want to consider doing the same!

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