Do you finish tasks at the last possible moment?
Are your projects always finishing just before the final deadline?
If your time management is always just-in-time, you may need to take a second look at your productivity.
Just-in-Time or Just-Not-Enough-Time?
I recently worked with an individual who did everything at the last possible moment. Every task he completed was a buzzer-beater delivery.
He was known for his last-minute performances. These usually involved a flurry of action in the final hours, sometimes including all-nighters or marathon work sessions ahead of a deadline.
When I finally chatted with him about his just-in-time performance he responded, “That is just the way I work.”
I asked if he had considered that he might produce better work if he completed things a bit ahead of schedule, with time to spare for the unforeseen and revisions.
He rebutted, “I am creative, so I can’t do anything until the last moment. Until the inspiration hits. In fact, I do my best work when under pressure.”
If your time management is always just-in-time, then it’s not working.
What you are actually saying is that you just-don’t-have-enough time!
Needless to say, the rest of his team found it very frustrating working with this individual. They were frustrated with his in the nick-of-time behavior for many reasons:
- He was not well engaged with anything until the last second.
- He didn’t repsond to emails.
- He didn’t attend meetings.
- He didn’t show up until the project was ready to launch.
They were not buying his “I work best under pressure excuse.”
As far as his team was concerned, what he was actually saying was, “I don’t work well when not under pressure.”
Get Ahead of Just-in-Time
If your time management is always at the last second, it’s time to take a second look at your efforts.
Just-in-time may give you a rush of excitement when you manage to come in just under a deadline.
However, you are fooling yourself if you think you are producing your best work “only under pressure.”
And by the way, you aren’t fooling others with this line either.
Question: Do you always rush to finish things at the last second? How could you get ahead of your just-in-time deliveries?