Have you ever noticed how quickly life changes when you have a major deadline? For example, you tell your spouse you have to go in early, work through lunch and stay late because of a deadline. Or, you stop going out to dinner and seeing friends because you have a big project due. We give deadlines the power put our lives on hold and upend our routines, but it does not have to be that way.

The truth is you can relieve much of the stress associated with deadlines – and keep living your life in the meantime – if you know how to manage your workload.

#1: Set actionable steps.

At the onset of a large project, break down each piece into manageable action steps. Then, take the very first step, complete that task and cross it off the list. Do this with each of the steps in order and suddenly a gigantic project is far more manageable.

#2: Give yourself permission to “procrastinate”.

Give yourself permission to take time to form ideas and gather information before diving into a new project. It is much more productive and empowering than beating yourself up for “procrastinating.”

#3: Tap into past successes.

Trust that you will get the job done – just as you have with past projects.

#4: Set realistic expectations.

If you historically meet your deadlines just in the nick of time, don’t fight it; go with it. Do not force yourself to work faster than you are able to and do not beat yourself up for not finishing the work sooner.

#5: Ask for what you need.

Figure out what you need and ask for it. Utilize all of your resources and do not try to do it alone if you don’t have to.

+1: Do not let other parties delay your progress.

When you are waiting on information from others, create a space-holder and keep moving. If that is absolutely not possible, ask the other party how you can help them get you the information you need.