Which Deadline are you Chasing Today?
Gone are the days when the rush of a deadline excited me. Now if I am given rushed timelines, I pity that person’s poor planning.
Have you ever been involved in getting a magazine published? If yes, you will relate to this statement:
Publishing a publication is very similar to managing a project. It is indeed a project!
Most of the projects fail, because of poor planning and ticking off the checklist at the last minute. You will not achieve heights if all that you are communicating to the people is “I need it now.” There needs to be thinking time, breathing space and revision cycle.
To get things done, you don’t need to be always on your toes. Timelines which need to be met in less than 24 hours are no good. You might feel that you will be able to bring the best out of people, but this is a fake adrenaline rush. As the project owner, you might feel that WOW you met the deadline, but imagine the stress levels, the palpitations, and the increased heartbeats. You are making people sick around you.
What do you need? Planning and Flexibility: Follow these two steps and you will be able to ship the product out on time!
Proper planning: My learnings from the publishing of the recent issue, in which I have been involved for the past five months, has taught me that there has to be an end date beyond which I will not entertain any submissions. Just like my lead pipeline, the pipeline has to be big and strong. Even if there are a few dropouts, in the end, it does not hurt me and puts my plan haywire. This means that I need to work on the pipeline of the stories well ahead of time so that there is no last-minute filling of slots. A minimum of ten weeks is what is needed which involves the harvesting of the stories, working on them, curating them, following up with them on the timelines and then accepting that delays are bound to happen. I need to keep the buffer time. Same with the vendors, there will be a lot of revisions with the design, printing etc., I need to assign a sufficient number of days for multiple rounds of revision, minimum of four weeks. I need to be well prepared for emergencies. It can strike anybody. Be Flexible. If one approach is not working, do not shy away from experimenting with another one.
Keep your ego aside. Empathise on why the other person did not revert. Maybe like me she is also only working on her target projects, and my project is not her target project and like me, she is also cutting the bullshit.
Time is precious and If there is no proper planning and I am not following my schedule to the “t”s, then I know how things are thrown off the gear. I feel guilty for wasting my precious hours on the things which were not aligned with my Top three goals of Reading, Writing and Marketing. Hence, I need to guard my time ferociously and if any task/ project is eating away the time, I need to nip it off.
Things to avoid when publishing a publication:
You can not achieve desired results on rushed timelines
Don’t deviate from your core and keep the focus
There are no frivolities
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