Managing a busy, dynamic practice is hard. We have two choices when running our day – be proactive or reactive. Think of this is as choosing between practicing on one’s toes or practicing on one’s heels.
Proactively communicating realistic availability and deadlines is increasingly important in the “now” economy. The alternative is to be overrun by work and spend precious time explaining to others why it’s not getting done “now.”
Of course, diplomacy and tactical negotiation are required to effectively communicate availability. Start by assuming the deadline is immediate and work backwards. The best way to do this is by asking questions:
- What’s driving the urgency for this project?
- Can we provide you a first look by Thursday?
- Do you have time for a quick call to discuss the deliverables/scope?
Leaning into Your Practice
Breaking the initial surface tension of “now” eliminates the assumed pressure of immediacy and allows for a more productive conversation about when work can realistically be accomplished.