It’s as simple as telling a friend how far along you are in reading the latest mystery bestseller…
In this post I shake things up by challenging you to take a simple, yet amazingly effective way of tracking your work progress when it comes to time.
Try describing the status of your progress in broad strokes.
Time management isn’t always about having complex schedules and tasks listed in minute detail; sometimes a broad view works just fine. Instead of trying to whittle down your project to the teeny tiniest tasks or action, take a step back for a moment. Just where are you in the grand scheme of things? An easy way to do this is to describe whether you are at the beginning, middle or end of something.
If you’re having trouble figuring out exactly where you are, try this exercise: imagine you meet an old friend or acquaintance whom you haven’t seem in a long, long time. They ask you what you are up to in your life, what projects you are working on, etc. How would you describe what you are doing and how far along you are in your work?
Make a quick list of where you’ve been…and where you’re going.
Still not sure how far along you are in your project? Jot down what you’ve done thus far, how many meetings you’ve had, which colleagues, clients and vendors you’ve worked with, how many revisions you’ve made, what type of work you’ve produced. Check your schedule or calendar…how busy have you been lately with this project? Are things extremely busy or are they relatively quiet? You should also take a look at the types of tasks you are working on right now; they are a good indicator as to the immediate next steps in your project and whether you are coming up to the finish line.
TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR CALENDAR.
The Order Expert’s Guide to Time Management is a hands-on workbook that provides practical solutions to common, everyday time management problems.
Try quantifying your progress through your feelings.
A surefire way to figure out where you are in your work is to do a quick check-in with yourself and what you are feeling at the present moment. You know that rush you get when you start work on a brand-new project? Things seem like they have so many different possibilities; information is new and sparkling, and you’re eager to start work. This is a completely different feeling than when you are in the middle of a project when things are getting comfortable and are falling into place, or when you are at the end of a project and are tired of everything. How are you feeling about your project right now? Are you energized, comfortable or exhausted?
How about you? How do you gauge where you are in a project at any given point in time? Do you turn to the calendar or do you take a more inward approach? Join in the conversation and leave a comment below!