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The Timeline vs. The Unexpected 28 April 2010

Posted by Scott Loughran in Design, Development, Reflection.
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“How long will that take me?” I don’t know how many times I’ve asked myself this question amongst all the stupid and fun ideas I have pop in to my head, but I know it’s at least three times a day. If I honest with myself, I’m horrible at timelines but always make my deadline – something tells me I’m not the only one like this. Time management is truly a skill that I’m working hard to further develop daily, but it becomes really, really, really hard when the unexpected arrives. I have found that when I’m working online, the unexpected arrives more often then when I’m unplugged, but when you are trying to make your living online unplugging is not really an option.

One new thing I’ve been working on is teaching myself a little CSS and HTML so I can play with WordPress software and design a blog for my dot com start-up. Amongst watching and reading all the tutorials, trial and error, reading the books I have, more trial and error, and searching for design trends and easy plug-ins I could easily spend a couple hours just to get an RSS button on the blog. Why does it take me so long? Could it be because I’m operating off of my underdeveloped timeline to be done with the blog by the end of May? Fine-tuning my timeline to have individual deadlines for certain tasks would help me a lot. If I know I have three hours to dedicate to developing my blog today I should set a deadline for the end of those three hours so I can shift from my mindset from timeline to deadline.

Developing something like a blog from scratch, even if you do it daily professional, can still be steered off coarse due to the unexpected. What’s your unexpected? Is that TweetDeck blowing up and you can help but read everything from everyone? Does that special someone keep sending you “I miss you my Booky-Boo-BoosL” texts all day? Is your favorite team playing and you can keep your eyes off the box scores? Whatever your unexpected is, keep it in check. In the words of every geeky man who has had a mic in his hand while on stage since Run DMC, “Chiggity-check yourself before you riggity-wreck yourself foo!” Turn off TweetDeck (no, a couple of hours wont kill you.) Tell your little “Cuddle Cub” that you have to hunker down and crack this out so you have time to spoon and watch “Glee” tonight. Understand the box score doesn’t sway to your favor the more you stare at it and crack through your work so maybe you can catch the final moments of the game. Choose to control you input so you can excel in your output.

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