My first job out of college was with AT&T, writing user documentation for their manufacturing sites. I know. Fun stuff.
Back then, “Just-in-Time” manufacturing or JIT was all the craze. That’s when I first learned about back-scheduling — working backwards from your project’s due date. I found that this approach worked very nicely with my procrastinating nature. The closer the date got, the higher my adrenaline levels would climb and my productivity would go through the roof.
Since procrastination is not exactly a virtue, let me just say that I still use JIT to manage my big projects.
Take Thanksgiving. I’m hosting and it’s just 21 days away. I have many family members coming to dine. Already, I’m scoping sales on frozen turkeys and snatching cans of pumpkin and cranberry before any reported shortages threaten to disrupt my jello mold and pie production.
The long list of invitees have been informed of the details – 2pm, come hungry, wear loose clothing, be prepared to lay on a piece of furniture for several hours afterwards while watching football or holiday flicks.
I’ve delegated all there is to delegate – sides, desserts, stuffing.
Let’s see, that means I have approximately three weeks to clean my house and figure out a way to make our card table look like VIP seating instead of a square around which the kiddies eat.
I’m sure I’ll come up with something the night before…