In this show I talk about how often leaving things too late or setting too harsh deadlines can lead to actually spending longer on things than you need an producing a terrible product.
Tim Lewis: [00:00:30] Now I was originally planning to have an interview for this show. However the person who I was interviewing has rescheduled the interview and while it would be strictly possible for me to get the show out in time I learned a few lessons from editing the last show with Paul Teague.
Tim Lewis: [00:00:51] The funny thing is that I should be a lot better at time management and organization and everything like that as when I was in the corporate world I was very into things like Scrum and Kanban and lots of team management structures.
Tim Lewis: [00:01:08] Of course it’s one thing been able to manage other people in terms of teams but it’s very different to be able to manage yourself.
Tim Lewis: [00:01:19] The reason why I’m recording this episode is a little bit meta in as much as I’m delaying the interview I’m going to have with Ben Cameron who’s a book publicist until Episode 101 solely because I’ve learned enough over the years to know that if you rush things then quality fails.
Tim Lewis: [00:01:42] There is something that I’ve always thought was called the Quality triangle but actually according to Wikipedia is called the Project management triangle.
The Quality Triangle
Tim Lewis: [00:01:49] And I have mentioned this before in the very early episodes of this podcast and this is the idea that you have a project and you can either spend a lot of money on it and get it done quickly and to a high quality level or you can do something cheaply and quickly but to a low quality level or the alternative is that you do it cheaply and to a high quality level but over a very long period of time.
Tim Lewis: [00:02:21] So you can see there’s kind of a trade off between them. Now what I did with Paul Teague’s show is that I left it way way too late and I had real troubles with the transcription service that I use.
Tim Lewis: [00:02:36] And the trouble was that I kept being tempted to take shortcuts and in fact one of the things that I did wrong was I had a spelling mistake in some of the quote graphics that I put on the article mainly because I did them after the fact.
Tim Lewis: [00:02:52] And while that’s not the end of the world and I’m sure that most people never look at the quote graphics on my blog post. It was something that I had to go back and correct and going back and correcting it actually takes longer than it would have done to just done it properly in the first place.
Tim Lewis: [00:03:09] So I think there is a lesson to be learned, while it’s great to set yourself targets for things they have to be realistic.
Tim talks about Scrum
Tim Lewis: [00:03:20] To take a slight tangent. I think a lot of people talk about the Scrum methodology and I’ve seen it creeping in to what you call the Internet business space as well. But what I got out of that Scrum was was very different from what you hear a lot of the times if you listen to lots of podcasts about time management.
Tim Lewis: [00:03:41] I think people are kind of missing the point about it. Well at least a point about it. There are lots of other points as well.
Tim Lewis: [00:03:48] So for a total totally new person to any these time management techniques the way that scrum works is that you’ve got a team of people and every so often you have what’s called a sprint.
Tim Lewis: [00:04:03] So you basically get everybody together and you say what are we going to do in the sprint. It might be one week, two weeks, four weeks whatever time period is.
Tim Lewis: [00:04:13] And you basically break down the big tasks you’ve got into smaller tasks that you can hope to achieve within that one week period. Now lot’s of people just leave it at that.
Tim Lewis: [00:04:25] But from the people who taught me Scrum, and they were from quite a well-known training company, they made the point that the whole fact of the matter is not that you’re breaking down tasks. That’s kind of like well that’s an obvious thing really.
Tim Lewis: [00:04:38] But I know a lot of never get around to doing that we just look at the big publishing book task at our wall and we never get round to breaking it down so I suppose that is something.
Tim Lewis: [00:04:48] But the idea of scrum and a lot of these other methodologies is that you’re attempting to do as much work as you can within that period. But to a high quality standard.
Tim Lewis: [00:05:02] So you can put up on your board “Publish A Book” and you going to set your Scrum Sprint at one week and you’re going to say well I’m going to do all of these tasks within the next week.
Tim Lewis: [00:05:15] That’s not really what the idea of the methodology is about. The idea of those kind of methodologies is that you basically get used to the amount of work you can do to a high quality standard where you’re not taking shortcuts.
Tim Lewis: [00:05:29] You might start off just like get in touch with a cover designer for the first week and editing a particular number of chapters. The whole point is you’re supposed to be working out and getting procedures ready so that you don’t have to keep going back to previous stuff you have done and fixing the mistakes you made.
Tim Lewis: [00:05:50] So for some people just contacting the cover designer and letting them know to the right amount of detail might be all they should be doing in one week.
Tim Lewis: [00:05:59] It’s so easy to try and cram in everything else. But if you actually get something done to a high quality standard that you don’t have to keep going back to it just makes a tremendous difference.
Tim Lewis: [00:06:11] So there is really a lot to be said for not bitting off not too much that you can chew. This idea of like shoving in loads of things that you’re going to do by this day and this day.
It’s better to take time to do something well than rush it and do it to a low quality level
Tim Lewis: [00:06:22] So that’s kind of why I’m doing this show rather than trying to rush the interview through in one day and potentially making a load of mistakes again.
Tim Lewis: [00:06:31] I’ve got quite a long episode 100 which is a little bit of a different format show but then it is episode 100 and I’ve got to do all the editing for that as well.
Tim Lewis: [00:06:42] And I think it’s much better in terms of the show quality if I just take things easy occasionally and I think you should do the same with whatever projects you’re doing.
Tim Lewis: [00:06:54] In terms of book release dates I would say you probably want to be doing it a couple of weeks or possibly a month after you think you should be able to do it just to make sure you’re doing it at the right level of quality because this is something that I’ve gone horribly wrong with in the last few years.
Tim Lewis: [00:07:09] I’ve basically committed to (at least in my head) to particular book dates that are just to close and you just end up not arranging all of the promotions and things.
Tim Lewis: [00:07:20] You don’t get the social media right, you are not properly getting the audience engaged that you want and sometimes you just have to take longer to do things but do them right so that you can avoid having to go back and constantly fix the errors you made from the last time you rushed something to meet get it out.
Tim Lewis: [00:07:41] So that’s my two pence worth today. Now of course the other part of this triangle is that you can spend money to get yourself out these issues and keep the quality level up.
Tim Lewis: [00:07:51] And I wouldn’t necessarily deter anybody from doing that. Especially if you’ve got a large source of income coming from someone else.It may make sense to just outsource as much as you can. So that’s the other option.
Tim Lewis: [00:08:04] But I’d never ever suggest doing something on the cheap quickly to a very low quality level: it’s just not really the way to go. So anyway. This is the end of my first ninety nine episodes of the show.
Tim Lewis: [00:08:18] From episode 100, I will be going to one show every two weeks to give me a bit of a chance to do some work on other things.
Tim Lewis: [00:08:26] So if you haven’t subscribed to the show it might be a good idea to subscribe to the show now on iTunes or Stitcher radio or whatever podcasts tool you use so that you don’t miss out on the shows on the slightly less frequent basis. And I shall see you guys next week.
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