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HBR Guide to Getting the Right Work Done (HBR Guide Series) by Harvard Business Review

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Chapter 9

Don’t Let Long-Term Projects Become Last-Minute Panic

by Peter Bregman

I want to write a screenplay.

Actually, I wanted to write one last year, but then other work took more time than I expected, and I kept pushing “Write screenplay” off my to-do list.

I know I’m not alone in struggling to make incremental progress on long-term projects or goals. How do you get started when you have “all the time in the world”?

Maybe you have no due date, like my screenplay. Or maybe you have a deadline that’s months away—like preparing a speech, developing a business plan, or designing a training program. Perhaps you tend to procrastinate on projects with generous schedules—until “next month” becomes “next week” and then “next day,” and suddenly your ...

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