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3 Simple Work Planning Hacks To Meet or Beat Deadlines

Work plan and time

Work planning is a challenging task. Seeing things ahead of time, and allocating time to meet the deadlines is not as easy as it sounds to be!

In this blog post, we'll see 3 simple work planning hacks to meet (or beat) your work deadlines.

Here we go!

Before we dive deep into these hacks, let's first see what they are:

  1. Do your work planning with calendar, not spreadsheets or Trello

  2. Don't forget to include the overhead tasks to your plan

  3. Set aside a buffer time to avoid surprises

  4. There's a bonus mind hack too at the end of this post :-)

Ok, now let's look into these stuff in detail.

Start with blocking your calendar, not spreadsheets or Trello

Our minds are naturally deceived into thinking that tools like spreadsheets or Trello are excellent work planning tools.

However, the spreadsheets and tools like Trello are excellent work tracking tools, and not work planning tools. In other words, you can use these tools for smartly tracking and managing the progress of the work (which you've already planned with a different tool).

Ok, so what's that work "planning" tool? Hmm, it's available for free and it's your calendar!!

So start your work planning task with your calendar. You can now see your available times on a single screen (which is not possible with Trello or spreadsheets!). Now fill out the available slots on your calendar with your priority work items. Your plan is ready now :-)

Then you can export this plan to a spreadsheet or Trello for tracking the progress, which you can't do with a calendar.

Don't forget to include your overhead tasks to your plan

In general, there are 3 unavoidable overhead tasks that ruins your work plans. They are:

  1. Meetings

  2. Reporting

  3. Work planning (as a separate task)

You must allocate some of the time of your 40-hour work week to these overheads as well. Including these 3 items to your work plans will give you better control over your work plan for sure!

You may not be able to foresee the time you will spend for each of these overheads on a given week. Check out our previous blog post - 3 Unavoidable Overheads Ruining Your Work Plans, and How to Fix it

There we have covered the tips to calculate the time spent for each of these overheads in detail.

Set aside a buffer time to avoid surprises

Despite planning well using the above tips, you might end up getting some ad-hoc tasks (which could be critical and time sensitive) that you can't avoid.

It could be an enquiry from a potential customer or an employee farewell or a leadership meet that demands a report on a very short notice.

Such surprises are unavoidable. But one can smartly tackle such tasks by not letting such tasks to be a surprise. You can do it by simply having a buffer time to your work plan.

Bonus mind hack

This is a bonus section. Here we'll just share a mind hack to execute your work plan.

Despite planning well, it's hard for us to get our mind's complete focus to execute the plan.

You might have some tasks that are too boring for you on your work plan. Even though its on your plan, you may not be mentally prepared to execute such tasks at the planned time.

Here's what you can do in such cases. Just trick your mind to give a minute of complete focus and attention for that task. At the end of the first minute, you are more likely to forget the fact that it's boring, and start executing it!

It's that easy!

That's all for this post. We'll come up with more in the coming weeks. If you'd like to stay tuned, please subscribe to know crazy questions, business ideas and thoughtful perspectives.


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