By Lori Drzewiecki: The Method to My Madness

Thank you for coming back, my last blog was time for yourself.  If you missed it, be sure to check it out.

On to Deadlines.

Whether you are just starting out in any business, or deep in the day to day operations deadlines are a part of business.  What you may not realize is that blown deadlines are just as much a part of business.  The quicker you realize it and figure out how to deal with them the better off you will be.  This is yet another lesson I found hard to learn.

We live in an age of technology.  I often say “technology is great till it doesn’t work for you.”  You don’t realize how true this is until your financial stability is dependent on technology working.  I’m on the low side of the technology spectrum. I only created a website. I can only imagine how frustrating hi tech technology industries would be.

Regardless of if you are doing everything yourself or hiring others to help, professional or otherwise, you need to realize that literally EVERYTHING will take longer than expected. Obstacles are around every corner and it may not be as easy as you expect to fix them.

This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t have deadlines.  What it means is they should be soft set and realistic.  I have learned that you need to figure on doubling at the very least the amount of time you set for any given aspect of the project.  This includes the completed project.

This also means you need to have realistic expectations of yourself and those you may hire.  There is a learning curve as well as the time curve that it takes to complete tasks. It doesn’t matter if you hire a professional or are doing it yourself.  While creating my website, I would often say I spend a third of my time waiting on the processing of content.  This may have been the loading of a picture to the refreshing of a page to see the results.  It takes time, more time than one realizes.

I am not one to cry easily, however, I cannot tell you how many times I got to tears worrying about deadlines and dealing with the frustrations of how long things were taking over the course of the development of my website.  My entire business is involved in the website so it isn’t just a few pages of advertisement or basic information. It has a number of aspects and layers of functionality for my members, which your business may not require.

The concept however, remains the same.  For the simple sake of your sanity, you need to allow for a contingency of time.  If you come in early bonus, if not well then you need to deal with it.  Every aspect of the business is subject to this concept. It doesn’t matter if you are running a store, a factory or a service, your deadlines need to be realistic.

One way to keep them in line is to plan ahead.  Going back to my blog on content, I mention this.  If you plan ahead and stick to your plan without adjusting, modifying or adding to it along the way you are more likely to hit realistic deadlines.  Believe me when I say I failed horribly at this.  My website evolved, I constantly thought of additions and adjustments.  I wanted the site to offer as much as possible. What I should have done, was think of this like you would building a home. We all know that contractors hate when we change our minds midway through a project or a portion of the project.  This is because it will cost money and time.  Neither of which you as the customer really want to add to a project.  Building your business is exactly the same. Just like building a home there is a contingency for the items that can’t be foreseen, I am suggesting having contingencies of both time and money.  I will get into the cost next time.

This was probably the one of the worst parts of my journey. Next would be the items that caused blown deadlines and the frustrations that went with them.  All these items are a part of this journey so they will be in the blogs to follow.

For some of you this may seem obvious, and may wonder why get frustrated over blown deadlines.  To this I would say first I probably have expectations of myself set a bit too high, the second is the balance between cost and income.

No one wants to fail. Our failures are often measured in the small achievements first.  When building anything you need to succeed at the small tasks for the big task to succeed. One way to have a sense of success is to meet deadlines which really are the same as goals in the process. Blown deadlines are blown goals.

Be reasonable in how you plan your deadlines and what it will take to get you there. You will feel less frustrated and more successful each step of the way.

Thanks for reading, Next one will be – The Cost

Lori

The Method to My Madness

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