How Long Should It Take?

One of the most ubiquitous characteristics of communications teams is that they lack time. In virtually every workshop I conduct with communicators, the issue of a time crunch comes up.

Unfortunately, a consequence of this is that important work (such as strategic planning, evaluation, strategic counsel, research, public environment scanning) often gets shelved as teams are sucked alive by the urgent pressures of the daily grind.

I’ve found that one simple way out of the chronic time crunch trap is to take a step back and deliberately think about how much of your time a given task deserves. In the zero-sum game of resource allocation, it’s helpful to decide this in advance, and then stick to what you decided, as if your life depended on it!

Crafting a communications strategy doesn’t have to take nine months. Writing web copy doesn’t have to take two weeks. Creating an editorial calendar doesn’t have to take a whole quarter. If you think of your level of work as scalable, it unlocks the freedom of making conscious decisions about where and how you invest your time, effort and energy.

There is an old adage that says “work expands to fill the time you give it”.  Make sure you give it what you want.