Most people are constantly slightly behind schedule, and it's a damn demoralizing thing. Even if you have a fantastic day, you might barely catch up or still be a little behind.
Much, much, much better to be slightly ahead of schedule with whatever your routine metrics and actions you need to get done are.
If you've got 3 core areas that are all behind schedule, you might consider going as as far as to let two of them fall behind a moderate amount in order to get one of them slightly ahead of the curve. It's nice -- incredibly extraordinarily nice -- to know that something is proceeding according to plan, and that you've got some slack even if you turn in a couple duds of work cycles going forwards.
The real advantage isn't that it gives you more flexibility (though, that too) but that the additional pressure and neurosis from being behind schedule fades away.
Highly recommended -- look at your core goals and metrics. Try to get a little ahead of schedule with them, so even if a couple days in a row don't happen, you're still good.
Another strategy here:
Admit you are going to fall behind early, and address it so you aren't behind anymore!
Most people are largely driven by not disappointing people, especially clients.
But by letting your client know the schedule is at risk, and figuring out if there is a new schedule that works for everybody:
A) You are doing your client a service by disclosing risk that definitely already exists
B) You are doing yourself a service by lowering stress.
Of course, this requires relationships that are flexible enough to allow this kind of interaction, which is a whole other post.
After Day Two was off the rails entirely, I wanted to rest and recuperate a little, so I set my benchmarks low. Okay, I'd rather gear down and be Conan the Barbarian with a big ol' sword, but it didn't work out like that.
Here was my plan, emphasis added --
Wake 5:30PM (7 hours sleep… hmm). GGW call scheduled for 6PM.
GGW call concludes… 7PM?
Almost everyone I know is busy as hell. Running companies, contracting, doing creative work, and keeping a huge mix of projects going on.
Keeping busy is good, but sometimes it turns into a tragedy where you've got your head down doing work and duties, but you never get some of that real juice out of your life that you're wanting.
And many of the busy people I know -- myself included -- periodically have a day where they snap back to reality and really feel it for the first time in a while. "Oh god, I'm out of shape, my energy is low, I feel like crap, I'm not doing some of the key projects I love, I'm passing up a lot of really big opportunities stuck in the grind, I'm neglecting my hobbies and what I want to train... and for what?"
This applies just as much to entrepreneurs as people on salary, maybe even moreso. It's very easy as an entrepreneur or executive to get caught up in running around, getting stuck in the "errands" of business, dealing with what's on fire, and really neglecting the really expansionary projects that aren't urgent, your health, and maybe worst of all -- forgetting to have fun.
Is there an answer? Read on...