Try This If You Are Way Behind On A Project Or Results
Sometimes life doesn’t go the way we planned and we get behind on a project or see that key results are in the tank. One tactic that can be utilized is what I call: The strategic cancellation. This is my term for when a person has an opportunity to gain a level of momentum on a critical project or goal that would otherwise not be achievable without a cost associated with it—which necessitates the graceful cancellation of something in the present or the future.
I want to say right out of the gate—and quite directly–that this concept is not justification for those who use the “short-term cancel” concept on a regular basis or as a method to manage their busy schedule. If you live in a constant state of overwhelm you likely have a reputation of questionable reliability, so the strategic cancellation is not for you—instead, dear friend, you would be better off hiring an organizer or taking other drastic measures to curtail your cancellation habits before your team or friends stop showing up altogether.
On the contrary, the strategic cancellation is ideal for the hyper-reliable type (you know who you are!)
The following examples describe some perfect times to use it:
- A window of opportunity opens up for a big space of productivity—except for one or two meetings right in the middle of it. Instead of people-pleasing and thinking you can stop-and-start the workflow or work around the meetings—move or cancel them.
- When things go awry and some emergent item (or poor planning on your part) takes your week or month hostage, and you look at your calendar for next week or next month and find it booked-up as well—do something instead of waiting for it all to come crashing in. Look ahead and cancel a trip, move a meeting or let corporate know the deadline will not be met. Just do something. You will know you did the right thing after you finish the big project, get the new job or otherwise enjoy the fruits of your strategic cancellation.
“The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.” ~Alan Watts
If you tend to get over-committed practice saying, “I will think about it” before committing to more to-dos this week or in the future. Notice how often you actually decide not to do something that perhaps you would have otherwise done before using this time delay strategy.