JS Tip 144: From the Time Management Workshops: The Value of Interim Deadlines

This is it. The New Year. Many of us have made resolutions. We’ll talk about ways to keep those resolutions.

Setting interim deadlines supports the Elephant Principle we talked about two weeks ago. (“How do you eat an elephant?” “One bite at a time.”)

Break the task into bite-size pieces and give each of these smaller tasks a deadline. We talked last week of cleaning your desk:  

         Clean the left front of the desk: Friday at 3:30
         Clean the left back of the desk: Friday at 4:00
         Clean the right front of the desk: Friday at 4:30
         Clean the right back of the desk: Friday at 5:00

Breaking the task into smaller pieces make it less formidable. Can I clean one quarter of my desktop? Ha! Sure I can. That’s easy. 

Setting interim deadlines for the smaller tasks make a game of the task list. Can I get it done by 3:30? Let’s see . . . one, two, three, GO!

Setting successive deadlines give you immediate feedback on your schedule. Okay. Done! What time is it? Ha! Only 3:22. I’m ahead of the game.

If you have questions, comments, or arguments, let us know. We love this stuff.

Next week: Back to the writing workshops: Underlining. Never underline. We’ll explain why.