MHWest & Co., Inc.
MANAGEMENT & EDUCATION CONSULTANTS
Marilyn H. West
Chair & CEO

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Cutting It Close
Volume II, Issue 15
Most of us can recall numerous examples of cutting it close in all aspects of our life's journey. Some of these experiences were hilarious, some were uncomfortable and yet others were invaluable lessons learned.

Among the examples of cutting it close include showing up just minutes or seconds before work begins, complying with deadlines for filing taxes, bill payments or court appearances, returning important telephone calls, greeting important guests, providing opening remarks for a public official's swearing in ceremony, stretching hors d'oeuvres and drinks so that every guest has enough.

One cutting it close Marilyn experience that is somewhat humorous was packing wine in the snow for a late January party that my parents were throwing in my hometown of Elizabeth, Pennsylvania. No one really knew or probably cared for that fact about the source of the chilled wine, BUT I knew because I was making the trips to the backyard pulling out the wine from the packed snow to give to the bartender. There were no stores open to obtain more ice and none of the neighbors had stocked enough ice to share.

One final cutting it close deadline scenario that went too far south and didn't actually make it involves one of my well-regarded staff members who provided me with good news and bad news. She advised that the good news was that our response to a solicitation reached the receiving agency. The bad news was that we missed the deadline by a few minutes. (On that day I found some new words about not cutting it close for use in the English dictionary)

Cutting it close can be anxiety laden in many instances. Below are a few steps that I take to eliminate or at least reduce the frequency of these situations:

1. Embrace time management; also leave as much as an hour daily in your schedule to respond to the unexpected

2. Rely more on your smart phone with reminders of deadlines

3. Set the deadline for a task or must do a few days earlier than the actual date

4. Overstock with goods, products and supplies for events or tasks that you know you are the point person to make it happen

5. Don't fear improvising when the customary approach for accomplishing a task appears to be failing

6. Leverage the "know how" of individuals in your network for help when necessary; keep them on high alert for the unexpected

7. Say no when it is apparent that you have no or little time to spare for another task, activity or event

If you or your team members are in need of strategies and approaches for avoiding cutting it close situations, Connect with Marilyn today - consulting@mhwest.com.
Look for the next M4 on Monday,  October 10th.
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