The plan was to write a blog post about time management and how, as Time Lord, I have been able to help the team manage time, find more time and rob Peter to pay Paul without ever actually borrowing time, because that would mean I would be taking time from one project to the next and then we get into budgets and timelines and all of the things.
My brain hurt just from that.
One of my tasks at Redhead is to make sure schedules are set, deadlines are met, and the team has sufficient time to accomplish all the things. Most schedules plan for unexpected delays such as sick days, longer-than-planned meetings, client turnaround, and a change of creative direction from the boss lady. It’s building that cushion for the inevitable fall. Perfection is not a human trait—nor it should be—so why would anything we plan for be without room for error?
However, sometimes even that cushion isn’t enough. One major deadline killer is creative block. For instance, I am currently in a major slump. I’m struggling to get words out, to come up with ideas that feel meaningful and, dare I say, innovative and profound, and I’m feeling meh. So I decided to clean my desk. Not just the surface, but every folder, drawer, and little corner to shake it off. Did I plan for this? Sure didn’t. Did I foresee it? Of course not.
So imagine if more than one person is going through a creative block phase at once. Boy, do I feel like Hodor in that one scene.
Other situations where the cushion isn’t enough is when there are unintended client delays. The more stakeholders on a project, the more likely it will miss the deadline, because, math. So, what do we do if the deadline is, say, time-sensitive like a grant, an application, or an event? Well, we sometimes work weekends or work late or borrow time assigned from other projects that are not due just yet.
How do you schedule around that, and how do you make up the time that wasn’t planned to be wasted? And, yes, there is always a segment of time planned for zero productivity. The time planned to discuss last night’s episode of THE SHOW or the political climate. (Hush. Yes, we do that here because, advocacy and fundamental rights.) So, those take a chunk out of everyone’s day—some days more than others—but the week balances them out.
Back to the question: How do you make up the time that you cannot get back again? The trick here is to not repeat the cycle by making sure that time is reassigned without reassigning something else over and over and over again. You know, the Peter/Paul reference. That’s something that once you get into, you might as well just go home and start looking through LinkedIn.
“Everything’s got to end sometime. Otherwise, nothing would ever get started.” — 11th Doctor.