If it wasn’t for the last minute nothing would get done
It may not always come down to a few minutes until a deadline comes your way, but have you noticed how much activity goes on leading up to one? It proves one thing: Having no deadline means that very few goals would ever be achieved. There is a way that this phenomenon can work for you.
There are some famous instances where last minute deadlines brought on an unbelievable amount of work. Remember the Y2K craze of 1999 leading up to the year 2000? It really wasn’t until middle of the year ’99 before companies started hastily worrying about their computer systems crashing because of the year ’00 wreaking havoc. Without the 20 in front of 00 the computer systems could have interpreted for that to be 1900 instead of 2000. For years leading up to 2000 we knew that we had to change our computer systems. Do you think the majority did anything way ahead of time? Oh no. Folks waited until virtually the last minute. Within a few months containment measures were put in place – saved!
Take many examples from work or your social life and I venture saying that you will not have to look far for finding similar situations. Have you ever gone through a planned software change at work? Fun stuff, huh? Not really, but there is usually one faction who would like to make sure that the switch over is flawless and hence they are never done. It typically takes someone drawing a line in the sand declaring a time and place when the switch over finally will occur. Trust you me, most places will not get into overdrive mode much before about a month or two are left until the due deadline.
How can you make this work for you?
- Make sure you always think about having a deadline with any project that you want to kick off
- Have a few checkup dates leading up to the due date
- Plan on needing about 20% more time than what you thought initially (with that goes also more money!)
- Have a backup solution handy in case anything goes wrong
- Define a point of no return – after you passed it, you are going for it full bore
- Clearly communicate if and when folks are expected telling you when things go off course
No matter how much you may dread significant up and coming changes and their inevitable implementation due dates. Instead of fighting them, embrace them. Don’t be the problem, instead try finding solutions and then make sure there is a deadline. Without a commonsensical solution and a time challenged implementation plan success will likely never find you.