At a talk I was giving a few weeks ago, someone in the audience mentioned the problem of the 90/90 rule.
“What’s that?” I asked.
“You know,” he said. “How the first 90% of a project takes 90% of the time. And the last 10% takes 90% of the time.”
Hah! That rang true. But why is that?
- Are endings too hard to take?
- Do we do the easy work first and put off the hardest work until last?
- Do we fail to anticipate how hard the hard stuff is going to be?
- Are deadlines just that difficult to meet?
- Are we simply challenged when it comes to estimating how long it’s going to take us to do something?
- Or no matter how well we plan, does the last part always takes longer than expected?
When I give talks on organization, one of my favorite things is for people to hear that others in the audience struggle with similar issues. No one ever sits us down and teaches us how to get stuff done, making the 90/90 rule universal on pretty much anything you work on.
This week as you prepare to cook, clean, meet with family, or travel, remember that chaos rules. No matter how much you plan. No matter how careful you are. The end of a project always takes longer than you think it will.
Making peace with that won’t help you get the work done any faster. But I hope it makes you feel better to breathe into it and say, “Oh, yeah. The 90/90 rule. I’m almost done, and the fun is just getting started.”
I hope you find time to relax and be peaceful in this week that celebrates gratitude and thanksgiving. Happy Turkey-day!
As the snow is falling on beaches here in Maine…
And the last of the political signs are finally coming down… This one was my favorite. Did this candidate understand the irony? Hey, at least he’s honest about why he’s in politics! And I love that he’s neither an elephant or a donkey. He’s a moose. Because we live in Maine. 🙂
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