Do it now not tomorrow

While a person is not always able to start a new project or task immediately upon receiving it, at least a mental outline will help to streamline the process of completing the task. It’s important to start projects relatively soon after receiving information and to complete them as soon as possible after beginning them in an unbroken line of completed sub projects.

You should begin a new project as soon as possible after the assignment because the details of the project are still fresh in your mind. You may have discussed specifics with someone, but if you allow days to go by before actually beginning the project, you will have forgotten some of the details. It will require more of your preparation time and thus completion time just to attempt to reconstruct or learn details that have been forgotten because you didn’t begin your task promptly. At a minimum, take time to jot down the pertinent details in a file folder. Things like a project title, length, who is the projected audience for the report or final result, when the deadline is, are all important details when it’s time to finish the project. This can be a paper or virtual file folder.

Because your project is assigned in the present, the knowledge you have about it is current knowledge. You cannot be held responsible for what has not yet happened. Therefore, doing your project with your current knowledge is likely to provide less need for relearning or for changes in the situation which would require additional preparation time.

Another reason for doing your task now is so that you can meet your deadlines promptly. If you know when the project is due and you know precisely how long it will take you, it’s easy to put off starting until you know there is no leeway left in your time schedule till completion. But all too often, something happens to create a roadblock in your expected schedule. Maybe you had an Internet outage just when an important piece of information from a web page was required. Perhaps a friend dropped by to chat for a while. In other words, if you have allowed no time at the end of your project before it’s due, you run the risk of turning in slipshod work or not being able to complete it at all.

If, on the other hand you begin and complete your project promptly, it leaves you free to do other things without worrying about the status of the project. You won’t worry about meeting a deadline, because you’ve already gone on to other things by 7 the time the deadline arrives.

If you are in a position at work or socially where you want to make the best possible impression upon others, begin your project promptly and complete it as soon as possible. This will ensure that others know you can be counted on to deliver the goods on time, and will certainly count in your favor when the bosses are handing out bonuses and awards.

Finally, not to put too grim reflection on it, but life is uncertain. We do not know what tomorrow will bring. It is better to complete the task early and have time to spare should a family emergency arise, than to be torn between completing a project and dealing with a sick or injured family member.

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