Far too many stressed out people have too many projects on the go. And while that may appear obvious, there’s something few people know.

Somewhere between 25 – 50% of the projects on your desk have no completion date attached to them.

This unknown factor makes your projects hang around like a dead weight, with no end in sight, ramping up stress levels. They are wide open, never-ending stacks of paperwork, which are picked up, put down and picked up again. They are constantly there, taking up tangible attention and intangible mental capacity.

Action – If you’re working with others, make an agreement as to when a particular project or segment needs to be completed. For your own work, decide a finish date, even if it’s artificially created.

Projects without a deadline are like books without a last page. Geez, even the Harry Potter® saga had a last chapter!

    4 replies to "No End In Sight?"

    • John H.

      Hi Nancy,

      Some of the projects I work on can have a 2nd or 3rd birthday before they complete – putting a deadline on them seems to be beyond my control! What do you suggest!

      • Nancy Morris

        Great question John. Sometimes deadlines are set by others, by project dynamics, the natural process of a deal, etc. Generally speaking though, there are tasks and activities within the larger project that end up sitting on our desks, taking up physical and mental capacity. Things like completing certain paperwork, making calls, taking steps D through H while knowing that L and M might encounter delays, and so on. If there isn’t a completion date (or even a diarization date) on things, the brain tends to want to hold on so it doesn’t “forget”. Giving the work a date frees up that little bit of space in the mind and can create some motivation. EVERY piece of work on my desk has some type of finish date on it, even if the larger finish is 2-3 or more years away (eg financial projects) or if I’m waiting for someone else to complete their end of it. I hope that helps answer your question.

    • Eliza

      Totally agree however too many deadlines create madness as well.

    • Virginia

      I like meeting dealines, knowing them upfront is very helpful

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