Use The Tuesday Technique To Help Get It Done!

Do you have a task which you really should complete, but it just is not getting done? The task might be designing a new brochure. Alternatively, the task might be painting your store or organizing your store room. If so, consider using the Tuesday Project Management Technique to complete your task successfully. The technique is very simple and it works!!!

Here’s how to prepare to use the Tuesday Technique:

1. Describe, in writing, what the current state of affairs is.
2. Write today’s date next to the current state of affairs.
3. Describe, in writing, what the result of your project will be.
4. Write a realistic completion date next to the results statement. If the date you selected is not a Tuesday, extend the deadline to the following Tuesday if the project can be completed a few days later than originally projected. If completion cannot be delayed a few additional days, shorten the project date to the previous Tuesday.
5. Enter, on a separate line, between today’s date and the completion date every single Tuesday between the two dates.
6. Break the project into a series of steps and write, in detail, what you will complete by each of the Tuesdays next to the Tuesday date.

Now, select a friend, colleague, manager or employee to whom who you will report your progress on each of the dates specified.

Explain the following rules to the person you will report to:

1. You will be helping me to complete a critical project which I have not managed to complete.
2. I must report to you every Tuesday, without exception on my progress on the project.
3. If it has been a difficult week, I may do less than what the schedule shows, but I will never delay a Tuesday reporting date. I will always complete something each Tuesday.
4. If I do less than what the schedule shows, I’ll also update the schedule to show you how I will complete the project on time (or show you a revised completion date, if this is possible).

There are two critical elements to the Tuesday technique:

1. Each completion date must be a Tuesday.
2. You must not miss any dates.

The Tuesday technique is different from other techniques because it specifies completion dates of Tuesdays rather than Fridays. The reason for this is that Friday is a common completion date, one that many people target. On the other hand, they may miss the Friday date and then the project may stop. With the Tuesday technique, one can set a goal of completing by Friday, but if it does not happen one has the weekend to make up for it. When that doesn’t happen, one still has Monday to make up for what did not happen during the previous week or the weekend. As a final fail-safe one has Tuesday to catch up on what they did not do the previous week, over the weekend or on Monday.

Depending upon the circumstances, I’ve suggested a few enhancements to the Tuesday Technique such as placing a stuffed animal in a prominent spot to serve as a reminder to complete the task (it worked!). Other enhancements to the Tuesday technique might include adding a reward to the Tuesday reporting.

While I have not yet recommended using a day other than a Tuesday, under special circumstances I might recommend a different day. One of these circumstances might be for an individual who as a 5 day work week, but celebrates their weekend on days other than Saturday/Sunday. I would recommend this individual set their target date on the second day of their work week.

I’ve recommended this technique since October, 2000 when I learned it from Ohio State University Professor of Pharmacy Philip J. Schneider at the Latiolais Leadership Forum. I have received feedback that the technique has been helpful, leading to project completion. In at least one case the person decided to cancel the project. Even in this case, the Tuesday technique was effective because it drove closure to a project which had been in an incomplete status for a long time. The individual subsequently chose a different way to achieve their goal. While not everyone whom I’ve recommended the technique to implements it, I have not heard of instances of the technique failing.

So, if you have some projects which have been incomplete for a long time (or if you are simply looking for a more efficient way to work) consider trying the Tuesday technique.

I would like to thank industrial consultant Dr. Margarita Posada for comments on an earlier draft of this article.

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