Competing Deadlines: Definition, Steps and Tips

Scenario: Your assignment requires you to support three busy executives. Each has assigned you a task that needs to be finished by 9:00 a.m. m. on Monday. You want to do a good job, but how can you effectively prioritize your tasks at work to ensure that everything is completed correctly and on schedule?

Scheduling conflicts can be avoided by developing a timeline and regularly updating each manager on your progress. Your bosses frequently have a limited understanding of how long a project will take to complete. Effective time management means alerting your managers if project requirements differ from what was disclosed at the beginning, such as requiring you to stay late or come in on the weekend or involve team members from other departments or tech support.

If you’re having trouble managing your time when you have several competing priorities, ask your coworkers if another administrator is available to help you out. Create a shared document folder that contains a list of all of your projects so that everyone is aware of what you’re working on. Make sure you aren’t violating any confidentiality laws if you choose this course of action.

Rule of thumb for gentlemen and gentlewomen: Avoid being the person who is constantly in need of assistance but never makes themselves available to assist others. Whenever possible, offer to assist with future projects. Giving your coworkers a helping hand when you can demonstrates that you understand their struggles and are appreciative of the times they pitch in to assist you.

How do you Meet Deadlines Interview Question

Why is knowing how to manage competing deadlines important?

There are a number of reasons why managing conflicting deadlines is crucial, including:

What are competing deadlines?

Competing deadlines refer to a situation where someone must meet two or more deadlines simultaneously or within a very short period of time. Given that you only have a finite amount of time to complete each task, this is a difficult situation. As a result, someone who has multiple projects with deadlines may put in more time than usual to complete everything.

The answer to this type of problem is effective time management and organization of your workflow productivity. Additionally, it’s crucial to create a workable action plan to further optimize each task and utilize resources.

How to meet competing deadlines

Here are four steps to help you meet competing deadlines:

1. Communicate your situation

It’s crucial to inform the project manager of your situation when you have several deadlines to meet. Declare all of your deadlines and the crucial tasks you’re attempting to finish by the given time. Your manager will be better able to understand your situation and come up with a workable solution that meets everyone’s needs if you share this information with them. Your manager may also be able to extend your time or assist you with task prioritization.

2. Compile and prioritize your workflow

Make a list of all your tasks after speaking with your manager because seeing them can help you keep track of your advancement. This list may change at various stages of the process, but make sure to give each task—both existing and new—a priority rating. The most crucial tasks are listed here so you can order your workflow accordingly. You can assign your tasks a priority level between these four ranges:

3. Create an accurate timeline

Create a timeline and arrange each task on it in accordance with its due date after giving each one a priority value. Make sure you can alter each task as you advance through your competing projects whether you create a physical or digital timeline. Along with the due dates, you might also include other details like how long it typically takes you to complete a task or how long you have to make changes before it’s too late. This helps you visualize your progression from start to finish.

4. Ask for help

Ask your manager or colleagues for help. You can lessen your workload and increase the likelihood that your assignments will be successful by asking a few of your team members to help you with specific tasks and responsibilities. Think about making a shared document with all the projects and tasks you need to finish. This allows you to keep track of who completes what task when.

Tips for meeting competing deadlines

Here are some pointers to help you successfully meet your conflicting deadlines:


What are competing deadlines?

Competing deadlines are circumstances where someone must meet two or more deadlines simultaneously or within a very short period of time. Given that you only have a finite amount of time to complete each task, this is a difficult situation.

How do you manage competing deadlines?

  1. Schedule Work Effectively. Clarify your current priorities and effectively manage your schedule as your first step.
  2. Negotiate Deadlines. Once your priorities are clear, examine your duties and note any deadlines that require renegotiation.
  3. Manage Expectations. …
  4. Be Professional. …
  5. Be Flexible.

What are conflicting deadlines?

Conflicting priorities are goals that are vying for your time and attention and that you are unable to complete all at once. When you have competing priorities, you must prioritize your tasks and manage your time accordingly, giving priority to some over others.

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