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When Push Comes to Shove, Part 2

May 17, 2008

I posted earlier about the crunch I’m under as May winds into June. I have multiple things on the go, some with hard deadlines, and others that have a tiny bit of give. It’s a stressful situation that everyone who breathes will find themselves in at some point in their lives.

When you’re working in the industry, it’s usually a single project with a single deadline. In my case, it’s a collection of things that are all needed right around the same time. Ironically, I got an email last night that innocently asked for X, Y and Z to be complete on the same relative due date as everything else I have going on. Thank goodness for delegation.

My previous strategy had been to work some on project X, some on project Y and some on project Z. The fault in this, however, was that it was very likely to produce three things, each of which reached 90% completion. In this world, it’s either done or it’s not. No one cares if you hit 90%. Conversely, by switching to “full task to completion” mode, Ive been able to muscle through 1 of the three larger things on my plate, and will be finished all I can presently do on the second by the end of this weekend. I’ll move on to the third project on Monday. The projects were stacked to completion in order of priority, similar to the “triaging” that happens in development team.

There are some obvious benefits to this. In the event one of the projects runs over, two done is better than three projects at 90%. Sticking to the same project is more efficient mentally, too. Also, as components of individual projects are finished, the coveted “done” mark relaxes the stress some.

That’s the new strategy. We’ll see how it works out. All in all, in this economy, I feel fortunate to have an abundance of opportunity.

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