The next time you are assigned a project, try this time management tip and see if it helps you stay on schedule better and finish on time. When you are given a deadline, calculate the time that you will have to complete the project – from the time it is assigned until the time it is due. Divide that time in half. By this time on your schedule you should be more than half way done! This is your halfway point. Then, take that halfway point and divide it in half again. This is your quarterly point. At this point on your schedule you should be ¼ of the way to completing your project. Find your ¾-point accordingly (add your ¼-point days to your halfway-point days.) These are your time-table guidelines. (Feel free to create more time-table guidelines as you need for longer or bigger projects.)
For example: I have 16 days to complete a project. My halfway point is 8 days in-by this point I need to be over halfway done. I divide that in half to get my ¼-point of 4 days in. By day 4, I need to be ¼ of the way through my project. Then to find your ¾-point, simply add the first two points together, i.e. my ¾-point is 12 days in (8 + 4). By day 12 my rough drafts of everything should be done.
You now have a quarterly point, a halfway point, a three-quarters point, and of course your deadline. Now, divide your project into three equal parts-a beginning, a middle, and an end and coordinate your two schedules together. Make sure your “beginning” goal is ambitious, but reasonable. You want to do as much as you can in the beginning because you will lose steam as you chug along one way or another, but don’t make it an unrealistic goal that only makes you feel defeated before you even begin. (If you have trouble starting something- create a separate time table solely for the beginning of your project and divide it up into more attainable and manageable goals. Once you start meeting these goals it will change your outlook on the project and you will be more willing to work on it because you have already started.)
By the ¼-point you should be done with the beginning of your project. By the halfway point you should be done with the middle of your project. If you are more than halfway done by this time you are on track! Finally, by the ¾-point you should be done with the end of the project, save for minor adjustments such as proof reading, finalizing drafts, and of course Murphy! That is, everything that can go wrong may go wrong and it is best to prepare for last minute issues in case they occur. This also allows you extra time to practice if you have a presentation included in your project (keep in mind that if you have a presentation included then you must schedule practice time as part of your project break-down, i.e. this will be something you include in the “end” of your project schedule.) The three-quarters point is your rough-draft deadline where you can start to panic if you are falling behind schedule, rather than at the deadline point when there is nothing left that you can do. It never hurts to finish a project early if you can, why wait until it’s the last minute?
This leaves the last ¼ of your schedule to go back over your project so you can proof read and make final changes to polish up your work. As a last resort, this final part of your schedule is crunch time if you find yourself somehow running out of time or behind schedule-life is unpredictable. Ideally, however, this is the time you will have to bond with your project, look at it as a whole, see its strengths and weaknesses, and possibly make necessary adjustments. This is the time for you to breathe love and pride into your project. Dot your i’s and cross your t’s and maybe even add a little personal touch to make it stand out from others. If you followed your schedule, this last part of your project will be a breeze and probably even enjoyable as you sit back and admire your work stress free. If you plan ahead, even when you fall behind, you won’t run out of time. After you create your schedule all you need to do is stick to it and as long as you planned it out right you should be stress-free when the deadline approaches.
Punctually practicing perfect tongue twisters can help develop superior speech habits. Rapid, repeated pronunciation is proven to strengthen skills in presentation and may help you get through a sticky speech or an intellectual interview when your tongue gets tied up on its own. Have fun with this week’s featured tongue twister!
Denise sees the fleece
Denise sees the fleas
At least Denise could sneeze
And feed and freeze the fleas