Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Annnd There Went The Schedule...

When my schedules go to crap, how do I get back on track? I'm a plotter, a planner, and a control freak. When shit goes awry for whatever reason, I have a minor conniption (in private, natch), then I remember:  The first casualty of war is the plan. So, how do I regroup and take the hill?

Five Things:

1) Define "Crunch" Time: 15 days, 30 days, 45 days, 60 days. Never longer than that, 'cause of that whole thing about burning the candle at both ends, brains melting, and body rebelling.

2) Prioritize: P0 = Can't Live w/o. P1 = Must do. P2 = Should do. P3 = Want to do. P4 = Outsource.  Not everything can, would, should be done NOW. Some stuff gets pushed to post-panic time; some stuff just doesn't happen. Be realistic. Be honest. Be ruthless.

3) Renegotiate Deadlines: If others are depending on me for a deliverable, then I owe it to them to let them know as soon as possible that I will not make the date. However, I make damned sure the "new" date is one that includes a bit of padding. There is no way I will be late again.
Side Note: I don't waste time assigning blame or crafting excuses. It's not the issue, and no one cares.  They only care about when they're going to get their stuff.

4) Ask for Help: I have the hardest time with this one, but when needs must...I must ask. 90% of the time people are happy to help.

5) Forgive Myself: I despise letting people down. I despise not delivering on a commitment. Doesn't matter if circumstances were/are beyond my control, I still feel accountable. And for all those times the fault truly is mine, I have to accept I'm fallible (mmm crow, tasty), and move on.  FYI,  guilt, panic, worry, and dread are not conducive to productivity.  Let. It. Go.

Buckle up and buckle down. When crunch time is over, you and that next schedule are going to have a little chat about contingency plans and padded dates.


  1. I love that graveyard!

    I always say I'm not a scheduler, but thinking about it while reading your post, I actually do have a schedule. It's all in my head, of course, but I know when I have to get things done and plan accordingly. Like right now, I'm ramping up to NaNo. I have a little less than two weeks to finish this edit round (so it's out of the way) and to get my research done for the book I'm planning on writing. Which means... Heck, it probably means I'll wait until the last minute - which is why the graveyard of past deadlines amuses me so much. It'll all get done, though.

    1. Ooo! Clearing the decks for NaNo, eh? Good luck on hitting the word-count goals!