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Struggling with deadline type projects.

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  • Struggling with deadline type projects.

    I have some projects that have deadlines.

    Ideally, you don't want to put deadlines on projects that don't really have to be done by a certain date. The reason is that nothing should go on your calendar unless it has to be done or addressed(tickled) that day.

    So what I have done so far, is simply put the deadline date in the calendar. But when the week before that deadline arrives, I see that something is due. That leaves me about a week at best, to get it done. But that project may require some bigger steps to be could not be completed within a week.

    So I'm hesitant about setting deadlines for intermediate steps because they don't have to be completed on a specific date.

    So I don't know how to make sure I get a big project done by a deadline if the work on it is only in my "next actions" list.

    Maybe tickle some of the substeps?
    Weekly thorough review of each project substeps?

    I'm wondering what others do about making sure the intermediate steps of big projects are completed timely so to meet the deadline. My method isn't trusted enough to keep from leaking in my head.

    Thoughts? ideas? pratical methods? any methods?

  • #2
    My approach is to put reminders in my tickler file.

    Lets say I have a prject due on August 21.

    I will not see it in my calendar until 2 more weeks, not good, but I create a tickler note (the same day my WR is) to remeber that deadline, that guarantee that I am able to remeber and do not let my due date to the last moment.

    Those are my 2 cents.


    • #3
      I work primarily from my Palm. I'll place a note abou the due date in the project title. For example:
      - Secure Payroll Upload System B4 6/15
      - Web site redesigned B4 7/1

      When I see this each week in the review I know that I need to determine where the project stand and if I am on track to make the 6/15 or 7/1 due dates.

      I'll do the same thing for next actions so I see the due date in my list without attaching it to a particular date on my calendar. For example:
      - Order SSL certificate B4 5/1
      - Mock up home page B4 6/12

      It works for me anyway.


      • #4
        I assign deadline to everything!

        I like to assign the deadline to everything even to NAs that haven't got the deadlines by themselves. By doing this I feel the full control of my life.


        • #5
          It is not because there is no externally imposed deadline, that you cannot define one yourself. Indeed, I have learned that projects without a deadline tend to pushed back untill it no longer makes sense to finalise them.

          What do I do now? If there is a project that I want to finalise and no deadline is imposed externally (boss, co-workers, ...) I pick a date myself.
          I then start counting back: if this presentation needs to be finalised by August 27th, I need to have a draft by August 20th. This will leave me time to get a second opinion, review, ... etc. My Calendar then gets an entry on August 20th: DL - draft presentation on ... (DL stands for Deadline). It also goes on my NA list.
          If I have no draft on August 20th, I will make one that day.

          If there are several milestones to the project (eg: I need to test something before I can draft the presentation, I will only put the first NA in the calendar. I will always put them on the last day that I can start working on them without panicking.
          Other milestones will be in the project support file.

          My 2 eurocents.