Do you have a buffer day?  Here's why it matters ... | InspireHUB

 

I've had the privilege of successfully implementing large scale projects for many years now. Knowing how to accurately provide a project schedule that is realistic is critical to success. You are likely already familiar with the saying "under-promise, over-deliver". I don't know anyone who is not thrilled to have been on the receiving end of this, but being realistic is essential. If I was told that a project estimated to take 6 months was done in 2 months - I would not be happy. I would be alarmed, and I would have many questions about how they got the timing SO wrong.

Realistically, these scenarios are typically not the problem. Instead, the real challenge is having someone who promises a project will be done in a certain amount of time only to have them miss deadlines. Suddenly, the project timeline is doubled or tripled, and as a result, relationships and trust are broken.   Here's how to avoid that ...

 

How building a buffer day in can increase your productivity.

One of the key reasons why schedules get missed is that inexperienced project managers fail to do a proper risk assessment and create the right amount of margin for the inevitability of things that will go wrong during the project. Knowing how to build in a buffer to allow for those times is critical to delivering on-time and within budget.

On a small scale, all employees are project managers. You are responsible for managing your days and time. If you find yourself struggling to meet your tasks and deadlines, allow me to introduce the idea of a buffer day. Just like in managing a project, you must ensure that you give yourself time each week for the issues that will arise.

I have developed a system (using project management best-practices) that has brought amazing order and peace into my hectic life. I call it my "buffer day", and the rule is this: I schedule NO meetings on this day, and I allow no one to book meetings on this day. I completely block it off. On this day, only meetings that are "last minute" or "emergency" can be booked.

It’s incredible how much this has increased my productivity. Each week, I usually end up with at least one meeting on my buffer day that I wouldn't have been able to fit in if I had completely booked my week. I also find that it gives me time to roll-up my sleeves and get through items that really require focused attention.

 

How have buffer days helped YOU?

Have you heard of this idea before? Have you used it? How have you found it has helped you? Looking forward to your comments below!

 

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Topics: productivity, stress, scheduling, risk assessment, best practices, leadership development, trust, success strategies, project management, Lead with Hart, no-meeting days, task management, time management

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