Lilburn, Georgia (PressExposure) November 11, 2008 -- What time is it, if you have two minutes to go and your team is down by 10 points? What time is it, if your presentation to the biggest possible client and sale youâve ever had is due tomorrow? What time is it, if your annual progress report for your manager is due by 5:00 tonight and you are only half finished? Itâs Crunch Time!
Crunch time means itâs now or never. You have to produce. You have to get it done. So when you break out in a sweat from pressure, take 10 deep breaths then move quickly through these steps in the upfront, planning part of execution. First, survey exactly what has to be done to complete the project. This will force you to move from the more emotional right brain that is afraid you wonât finish on time to the more logical left brain.
List every task that is remotely connected to completion of the project. Tasks out of your head and onto a list become less intimidating. By using Tasks in Microsoft Outlook you can make your task list digital which can be saved, searched and tweaked at will. With a red marker, circle the tasks that absolutely MUST be done to complete the project. Through this process you simplify your work by weeding out tasks that might be window dressing. In Microsoft Outlook, prioritize the tasks with the exclamation point.
Count the actual tasks that are marked in red or have a red exclamation point in the prioritizing column. This is the step that brings a sigh of relief: Typically there are fewer essential tasks than you had imagined. Next, estimate how much time it will take to do each task, then reverse schedule the tasks, then give each task a due date or a deadline on your Microsoft Outlook Calendar.
Finally, remember to tackle one task at a time. Paying attention to this front-end planning process will save you precious time in execution. Avoid crunch time! Do the upfront stuff, the planning part of completing your work, and youâll be in control of every project, presentation and game.
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