Big writing project? 5 essentials for making your deadline

Planning out your endeavor is important, but it’s meaningless if you don’t sustain daily discipline.

Like a mountain climber approaching a peak or a marathoner hitting 18 miles, are you starting to feel weary on your path to completing a big writing project? If so, reassure yourself that this is perfectly normal. It’s also perfectly predictable, and it’s something you should plan for.

Whether you’re writing an annual report, a strategic plan or even a book, consider my five-step strategy for beating the big writing project blues.

1. Be brutally realistic about how much time your project will require. Most people seriously underestimate how long it will take them to do anything. This is partly because estimating in itself is hard to do. There are so many unpredictables. How long will it take you to line up your research? What if someone you need to interview is unavailable? What will happen if your vice president decides to rewrite your work (or, even worse, if the legal team gets on it)?

My strongest advice is to make a habit of tracking all your work, all the time, so you have an idea how long it takes you, on average, to do any task.

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