“I have ten days to prepare a report. I spend the first eight researching because I feel not satisfied with what I have, and then rush in the last two days to finish it. The client comes back not satisfied because of the mistakes and typos in the report. This always happens to me. Anything that I can do better and stop stressing over doing reports?”
Sounds familiar? Maybe there is a better way to write. Here is a proposed way that has been proven to work for so many people. It combines agile, critical chain, and customer-centric thinking to get the job done:
#1 Write the report as if you have to turn it in tomorrow. Think about what you would write in the report if your report will save your client’s life while working against a twenty-four-hour deadline.
#2 After you are done with your first draft, now it is time to critique what you wrote form your client’s perspective and identify the things that are to be improved.
#3 Think about what you can add to the report that is of value for your client and will make them amazed and pleasantly surprised without having to put too much effort into it.
#4 Give yourself three more days to do it but make sure you finish with a third of the time before the deadline. For example, if you had ten days before the deadline, make sure you finish 2 and 3 in five days, and allow 2 more days for editing and cleaning up. that leaves you 3 days (a third of the time until the deadline) to read, reread, and put your final “wow” touches.
This method improves the chances of providing high value for the client, reduces the stress, and ensures you can polish and perfect your report regardless of how tight the deadline is.
What hacks do you have for writing stunning reports on a tight deadline?
Let us know in the comments below!