23 Apr Own the Last Minute Pattern
If you thrive on deadlines, it’s better to plan for them than fight them. Worrying about if you are going to get done on time or being frustrated about how you’ve waited until the last minute is a complete waste of energy. Instead try planning your success:
- Plan backwards to your deadline – identify exactly when you need to finish the project. Don’t build in extra time. If it’s due Thursday at noon it needs to be done Thursday at noon.
- Write down the steps you need to accomplish. Identify each step on its own index card or post-it. That way you can keep the current step top of mind and not worry about anything else. Put them in order.
- Project how long each step will take, building in time for distractions and interruptions. A good rule of thumb is to double the amount of time you’ve projected each step will take.
- Back in – starting with the last step write on the card how long you’ve projected it will take and it’s deadline. Move to the 2nd to last card, then the 3rd, until you’ve gotten to the first step.
- Put them in order from first step to last. You’ve now got a clear picture of what to do and when it has to be done.
- Now work your plan.
You will be working up to the wire, but instead of stress you just might find satisfaction. It is a lot easier when you know it will get done.