Managing Time and Deadlines

2. Managing Times.... Deadlines

At the end of the weekend we were handed our second assignment but our first written assignment which was to create a Crisis Management Plan.  And there was a deadline to hit. 

I left the course with this energy inside me, mind working overtime and the overall intention to get this started on my daily train commute to London, which is an hour and half each way.  That’s three hours a day to get work done!  

Arriving home full of enthusiasm and energy I wanted to tell anyone who would listen.  Even my little Jack Russell was told about “stealing thunder” communication when dealing with a crisis and different methods of communication.  

I can safely say, he didn’t really care.  He just wanted his dinner!  

Monday morning, on the train and it started - work emails and phone calls started coming in as if I was being tested on my commitments!  So, my commute into London which had been ring-fenced for studying and creating my crisis management plan built round a work situation, was threatened.  

On the train with my note pad and reading material and I looked down and looked up (my station). Whoops!   Sadly, I realised my whole time was spent dealing with a work issue.  

“Okay Adam, breath slowly.   I have plenty of time to get this done and will attempt again on my commute home.” 

Well, safe to say, Monday rolled into Tuesday and before I knew it was Monday again and my note pad was still blank and my reading material… well, it became a mess from being in my bag and it started getting further and further deeper into my bag.  At this point I could see what Mary Poppins felt like with that deep bag of hers!  

To add to the mounting frustration the particular topic of this assignment was so very relevant as I was currently reviewing the alignment of our internal crisis management plan with an external stakeholder’s CMP as we were getting close to a high-risk music event!  time and deadlines

Already having prior knowledge of CMP I sat at major stakeholder meetings and was comfortable not only knowing what was required from all stakeholders to work collaboratively, but also knowing that in case of a crisis, we would be able to steer together in the same direction by ensuring that everyone knew their roles and responsibilities leading up to the event, and on the day of the event.  

I knew that I could not only explain the requirements and importance of the crisis management plan that met the requirements of my client, but also satisfied the other stakeholders, providing evidence and a script which reassured those who were to be part of the crisis management team but who were unsure of what the responsibilities were and the extent to which they were accountable.  So, I was confident in what I was doing – but I wasn’t getting on with the assignment. 

Looking back, I don’t feel I would have had the skill set to articulate myself in the way I did leading up to the event without participating on the full weekend dedicated to crisis management plans.  

But now, back to my own mini crisis, and there was no CMP for me when it came to 72 hours to the hand in date.

Friday night came and I had to do that one thing we all hate doing, “I can’t come out to play.” I have homework to complete!  

So, strict instructions from the office -  “If it’s really urgent then maybe I’m not the right person to contact!” 

Off Adam went, making magic with words tapping away at the key board as I make notes and scrabbling away in my bag looking for my reading material.  Silver lining though - I need to clear my work bag out more often - I found a fiver!  

Eventually, I turn the laptop off at about 0500hrs thinking, I will get some sleep and come back at it later in the day, giving my mind time to process the magic I believe I was producing.  

The mobile phone starts buzzing away, and there it was “Adam we have an issue at the office and require you to travel in.”

“But didn't you see my out of office message?”  I was thinking.  

Shower and into the car.  My mind going in overdrive.  Finding myself pulling into the service station to make a few notes.  

As I got into work, my work head was fully on (to be fair it’s never off).  The hours rolled over with me leaving site late that evening and without any sustenance.  I was no use to myself, let alone my assignment.  

So off I went, scoffed some tucker when I got in, got myself a brew with a couple biscuits and off I went and the magic started again.  Another middle of the night finish with me turning the laptop off about 0400hrs and getting my head down.  I was shattered at this point and was out like a light! 

Woke with a little spring in my step, plan of action to proof-read and then submit my magic.  

That evening I submitted my first ever written assignment, and honestly this pressure on my shoulders lifted and my breath was released.  I was strutting around in my boxers like some figure bent on world domination.  

I got results ten days later.  My results to my written assignment with very constructive feedback and a C (Pass).  Well I was rather proud of myself for a short time.  

I feel that those of us who have a senior role in the security industry, continually evaluate our own performance and tend to focus on what went wrong!  

So, here is my evaluation of my own performance. 

I did not utilise the time given but more importantly I didn’t take up the offer of the facilitator’s time when it comes to getting drafts reviewed with them giving us feedback to help us to produce better quality work.  

Was this down to stubbornness or arrogance?  

Well neither, this is down to me not sticking to allowing myself pockets of time in my day to not only work on my assignment but actually my steps to better future!  

So, what changes will I make going forward?  That’s for my next blog!