Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email
Share on print

Not enough time...

How better planning helps to avoid blaming the deadline

I’m sure you’ve experienced this before. A project or deadline is quickly approaching and you think to yourself, if I only had more time, everything would be so much better.

It might be true. More time might allow you to achieve what you’re trying to do. 

But patterns of feeling like there’s not enough time can lead to frustration, burn out, and inappropriate tension. Those are all things most of us try to avoid, but somehow always encounter.

Whether it’s a personal project, something for your job, or a task at home, there’s a solution to the “not enough time” problem: better planning. 

We’re all familiar with the concept of planning, but just like any skill, you can learn how to plan better

One of the strategic principles I often spread is “We plan in advance so that ‘lack of time’ is never an issue.” This means we take the time to agree on the outcome, date, and process when it’s still possible to renegotiate and make changes. It’s easier and cheaper to change the plan early on. It’s often difficult and expensive to wait till the last minute (because we’re often forced to buy an easy solution or make significant compromises). 

Some steps toward better planning...

1. Define the win. What does success look like? What’s the criteria for making decisions? Does everyone on your team agree with this?

2. Mindsweep. What things come to mind right away for this project? What do you not know and need to find out? Who could you talk to? Review the “Project Planning Trigger List” PDF attached for ideas before you jump to the next step.

3. Organize. What is the sequence of events? What needs to happen to make the whole thing happen? What checklists do you need? What are key dates? (Tip: do not start here! Our natural tendency is to begin at step 3 instead of steps 1 and 2.) 

4. Delegate Authority. Who can you give authority away to make decisions and carry out the outcome? Remind them of what the win looks like.

5. Define Next Actions. Who has the next action? If two people do, no one does. 

6. Track “Waiting Fors.” Is there anything you’re waiting for? Keep a list somewhere handy to track people you are waiting on. Do they know you’re waiting for them?

Question to consider...  Are there any projects you’re working on now where you might need to renegotiate the commitment? 

Share this post

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on email
Email
Share on print
Print

A look at the Time Timer

The Time Timer is a simple, easy-to-use timer that allows you to focus on your work and creativity. In this video, I explain who uses it and why…

Before-we-start agreements

It can be so easy to jump in to a task, a job, or project.  However, this can create issues. Have you ever been far along in a…

How should it look when it’s done?

Have you ever been disappointed when you don’t get the final OK from a client, boss, colleague, or spouse? For many of our jobs and personal commitments, someone…

Managing your negative inner voice

It’s 6:55 am. You just woke up and realize you have a meeting at 7:30 am and agreed to grab coffee for your coworkers. The line at the…

Direct statements

We all have things we wish we could come right out and say, but often don’t for our own reasons. We may want to preserve a relationship, not…

How the way we end conversations leads to confusion or action

Have you ever worked with someone who uses confusion and complexity and avoids action? Instead of figuring out the next thing to do, they talk about how big…

There will always be opposition

Have you ever encountered someone who doesn’t agree with your point of view or see things the same way you do? I’m sure you’ve experienced the tension that…

Use criteria to create momentum

What if we used focused criteria to move away from the debate of whether something is subjective or objective?

Decide to focus

You must make a choice to focus your attention on something specific. If you don’t choose to focus, someone else will — or you will be driven by…

Influence and impact

One thing you can keep in mind each day is that you have influence and impact as an individual person. It can be common to think that on your own,…

Asking "how might we" questions

A powerful tool to help your leadership is to ask great questions. Yes, there is such a thing as a bad question. In school, teachers sometimes say there’s no such thing…

Dealing with Resistance

Anytime we do important work, we WILL face Resistance.  It is pretty much a guarantee.  People won’t like what we’re doing. They may even let us know (to our…