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Multiple deliverables due on one date

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  • Multiple deliverables due on one date

    I have to create, and get approved, 25 documents by a certain date. They all have to be don eby that date, but non eneed to be done before then. I've estimated about how much time I'll need to spend on each one to hit the target. Would it be best to add the time for each to my daily calendar (e.g. 4 hours each day)? Or just have an no time event every day to work on the stack? I'm thinking the former, but wanted to see if there are other approaches.

    Last edited by bscott; 07-14-2006, 12:14 PM.

  • #2
    I guess the first thing I would think about is the approval process, and how long that takes. Then I would think about the possibility that requirements might change at some point, and things would need to be redone or undone. Only then would I worry about what appears to be a rather substantial investment of time. Remember: never ascribe to malice what can be adequately explained by stupidity.


    • #3
      Then what...?

      OK...once I've figured out how long it will really take, then what? Should I put hours into each day for each deliverable? Or...?



      • #4
        When I have a project that has to get done, I have a tendency to want to work on it nonstop until it is completed. I found that I actually have to stop myself after a few hours so that I don't burn out. In your situation, I would probably schedule a chunk of time each day to work on the project(s), and treat it like an appointment. Where the rubber meets the road, you still need to sit down and do the stuff, so for a big project, scheduling the time to "ABC" (Apply Butt to Chair) and work on it makes sense.

        One thing you might consider during your scheduled blocks of time is writing down next actions that might break your concentration while you're working. For example, you're writing a document and you have to check a fact with a coworker. Rather than getting up to go talk to them, which might lead to further distractions, write that down as a next action item to process after your scheduled time. I know that technique helps me when I'm in the flow of something creative and I don't want to interrupt my train of thought.

        Let us know how it goes.


        • #5
          If you will be exclusively working on this project until you finish it, you probably don't need to block out time. If the rest of your work will continue to rain down upon your head, blocking out time might be wise.

          If it were me, I would start by blocking out time. If you find you don't need to, you can always stop. Along the same lines, I would also set intermediate personal deadlines/milestones to verify that I was on track.



          • #6
            You are free to finish a project early. It is ok. Really. Sometimes if you have two projects both due two weeks from now, it could be best to finish one project this week or this weekend and let it set, or deliver it early.

            First I would carve out all the items from all the projects that require asking for, or finding, or getting something from someone else. The things that sould be asked for or ordered for now and put on your "waiting for list" so you can call those people on a regular scheduled basis to keep them moving on your stuff.

            Next I would review all of the processes and see actions that make sense to group together. If four of the projects all require you to go to the hardware store and shop, you could do all the shopping for those projects together.

            Then, yes, I would block out the time required each day to keep moving, with scheduled milestones to shoot for along the way.


            • #7
              I think blocking time is the only way out. I created a matrix of how to defer the actions in order to get them done in time. I think it could be of help. Probably there're will be comments how that combines with GTD in general.

              Small action without due date - goes to Next Action List
              Small action with due date - goes to Next Action List + Calendar
              Big action without due date - goes to Next Action List
              Big action with due date - goes to Calendar (your case)




              • #8
                Looks like blocking the time each day is the way to go.

                Thanks to all who offered suggestions. I'll try the blocking out of time each day to see if that works. Since I'm not the master of my calendar, it'll be interesting to see how my "blocked out" time flexes to meet outside demands on my time. This "project" with all of it's deliverables is, of course, just one piece of an "official Project" which I am PM'ing. Ah, well...
                Anyway, thanks again!