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    « Managing the overload | Main | The waste of misdirected effort »

    A deadline is not the only standard


    A deadline is not the only standard

    I met a team this week who were working on a task and they were stressed about it, working hard, pushing on, staying back late to get the work done to meet a deadline.

    It was due 6 days later. The only target or standard they were going for was the date, the deadline. And it seemed they were working as many hours as they could until the date arrived. But something was missing.

    We talked about identifying, asking for or clarifying other standards as well as the date, say, the quality required or expected.

    How much?

    What’s required by the due date?

    One page or six?

    Some key headings?

    Raw data or curated insights?

    None of these were known. It was all about the due date. It was full speed ahead, doing whatever they could until time ran out. Other work and priorities they had on fell away.

    We worked together on asking clarifying questions so they could gather more information about the expectations and requirements required for any of the work they're doing. It will save them hours/days of unnecessary work and will dramatically reduce stress levels.

    Overwork, burnout and perfectionism is a growing problem at work. It’s worth seeking out and then going for more than a deadline.

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