I’ve worked on a number of projects in the last couple years that have what seemed to be a very laxed deadline. And I’m sure many of you have all had a few of those as well. The client presents the job to you and you ask “when they need it”, you then hear the client say “it’s no rush, take your time” or “we’re still working that out.” The problem is that the client always has some sort of deadline in mind when they presented the job to you and that deadline is likely different then what you were thinking. Since it’s presented as not being a rush you may not always jump into it right away. It gets pushed to the side and other projects that have deadlines get moved to the front. Sure the project is still in the back of your mind but you are under the assumption that you have plenty of time. Maybe a month goes by and you really haven’t done much on the project yet because other work with official deadlines come in and you know those have to get done. The cycle can quickly continue, weeks turn into months and those months begin to pile up. This open ended / no rush deadline project has now become an issues and the client is wondering where the finished product is.
My experience is that when you hit about that two month mark of when you started talking about the project and you have shown only minor things, the client begins to get strange… And of course for a good reason, it’s been two months and you aren’t done with the project. Or even near where they thought you would be by this time. All of a sudden they need it finished and you can’t possibly get it done because you can’t physically do two months of work in a few days. As a result the client will probably end up unhappy and the project might get pulled from you altogether because you aren’t going to be able to do what they wanted in the time needed. Future work with this client could also be unlikely and a bridge could be burned.
Don’t let the idea of an open ended deadline blow up in your face. A couple things I’ve done to try and deal with this issue are to first press the client for a deadline. They know when they want it done or at least would like to see something. If they don’t give you a deadline set one yourself and tell them this is when the can expect to see something. Even though you made up the date to show them the work, stick by it and don’t let it slide because you know it’s not a drop dead date. Deadlines allow you to output more work on a timely fashion and are only beneficial to you. Stick to the deadlines and make breaking a deadline a cardinal sin for anything you are working. Don’t fall into the open ended project trap because you are likely to get burned.
Having Too Much On Your Plate… And My Public To-Do List Plan
We have all been there. The work load becomes too much and something has got to give. You’re trying to balance the many projects you have going on along with you’re family and friends. Some people can handle more then others and you need to figure out what your limit is. The trouble is that often you don’t know what that point is until you are there and it’s too late. One way that it’s suggested to help deal with everything that needs to get done is with To-Do lists. I have struggled to use To-Do lists for a long time, I’ve started them on paper and on my phone and end up diverting from them quickly. And then I’m back at square one, with no direct way to keep track of everything that needs to get done. So I came up with an idea of how I think I can force myself to use To-Do lists more and how to stick by it. With my ongoing quest to live even more in public, the best way that made sense to me was to make the to-do list public for everyone to see and read. Most of time to-do lists are a very private thing… you don’t always want people to know what you’re working on. But I’m going to put that to a test, I’ve switched my toodledo list to public and you can now see what I’m working on from the list on my site. Perhaps this will shame me into making sure I am working towards the items on the list.