Steps to Management Success – Step 68: Be the Early Bird

Written By Rick Frishman Published April 1st, 2010


Be the Early Bird

It’s true what they say about the early bird catching the worm. It’s been said (by Woody Allen) that 80 percent of life is just showing up, then another 10 percent may be getting there first. Beginning projects ASAP is one of the best strategies around for getting things done on time—and that’s a good thing for any professional’s reputation.

WHAT IT MEANS: Whether you’re driving to Aunt Louise’s for Thanksgiving dinner or polishing up that marketing plan, things tend to take longer than planned. The smart solution: start earlier. This allows you more “wiggle room” when the inevitable glitches and snarls occur, which will very likely save you the drama and agita of sweating out yet another down-to-the-wire deadline. Another plus: there can often be some resistance to starting anything new, and that’s understandable. The principle of inertia isn’t just for physics. Nevertheless, procrastination doesn’t really work—whereas getting an early jump on a project will. The very act of beginning something gives it a momentum all its own.

ACTION PLAN: Begin something now. It doesn’t have to be an assigned project, just something work-related that you’ve been meaning to do. See what happens. Repeat as needed. Starting things early is almost like giving yourself extra time—and that’s one of the most precious gifts of all.

EVEN BETTER: Don’t just start early—finish early! You’ll lose some of your stress, feel more on top of things, and develop a twenty-four-karat reputation as someone who not only gets things done, but does so well ahead of schedule. People like that get noticed—and promoted.

(Excerpted from: 10 Clowns Don’t Make a Circus. . . and 249 Other Critical Management Success Strategies by Steven Schragis and Rick Frishman)

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