Careful with this one.
If you're the kind of person that ALWAYS respects a deadline, and you make yourself a slave to your word, and ALWAYS keep promises, NO MATTER WHAT, then this can be used by you. If not, be really careful with it.
Okay, I see this a lot. You've got something that could pay huge results, a really expansive cool project. But it's not urgent.
Or, heck, it doesn't have to be a big thing. Anything that would be great to get done, but there are no external repercussions if you don't do it.
Sometimes, I do the non-urgent stuff first. I figure I'll burn midnight oil and push myself past tiredness and exhaustion to keep my word, but I'm not as likely to do that with something I could put off for "just another day."
So, I do that sometimes. The important stuff first, even though it puts me under a time crush with the other stuff.
It's kinda risky. Be careful with it. But if you've got the right temperament, this might help you get a lot more done. Maybe. Careful, though.
I couldn't agree more with this post. Here at college, I know a few too many people that acts like the kind that ALWAYS do stuff before deadline, days before it. I have tried to show them that what they did might not be the best thing, but actually I've never spent much time thinking of a good argument. Now I got one, thank you Sebastian =)
For those that never do something before pressure builts on (usually hours before the deadline), a great tip I can give is to usually work with people that act exactly the opposite. This creates a balance that, if you get used to, might do some good.
Sure, this might not work for individual assignments, but just by hanging out with that kind of people might build some pressure that may save a deadline.
Dangerous indeed. You have to really know that it's within your best interest or you could easily miss deadlines because of doing otherwise insignificant tasks.
I did this a lot in college. Some of it was very useful and other times it was more of an "I'd rather watch paint dry than write this paper" attitude. I also made deadlines and missed them. For anybody out there lucky enough to read the above advice while in college: do this now! You'll have no better chance to practice time management and prioritizing personal things over deadlines. Get a feel for what works and what doesn't. By doing this, even informally, you'll develop a good sense of when to use this trick and when to suck it up and meet your deadline.
For the rest of us, there are still lighter-weight situations you can practice with. Select these with care, you have to be held accountable to your actions in the "real world".
I've set "clear email out" as a daily to-do objective every day for the last week, but haven't been able to do it. I'll spend a few hours answering and cutting down, and get even more while I'm doing it. The last few days, I've spent a lot of time with it and still wound up with more at the end of the day than when I started.
Some points to note:
1. I apologize if I miss something time sensitive. If it's short term important, please mark "URGENT" in the subject line. Normally you don't need to do that with me and I answer most of my email quickly, but I'm swamped. Mark urgent and don't feel bad about doing so if it's short term expiring.
2. If I haven't replied, it's not because I hate you.
3. If I'm terse, it also doesn't mean I hate you.
I got back from Boston on the 28th of December, giving me 10 days in Austin before Todd and I leave on the world trip.
Every day counts now.
I've been spending TONS of time with my friends. I've been slaughtering my backlog of important but not urgent todo items. I'm not wasting a minute. I'm hugging people. I'm making sure that I put aside time for everyone and everything I want to do.