Creating Timelines that Really Work
Do you ever get that feeling of overwhelm? You have several design projects that you are juggling and things keep spinning out of control. You think to yourself that there is no way it should be this way, because your projects weren’t supposed to overlap the way that they did.
Unfortunately, it happens to all of us. For me, I find it happens in several situations:
- I get so excited about taking on a new project that I don’t think through all of the timeline ramifications.
- I take too many of the same kind of projects at the same time, like remodels, new builds, or furnishing-only projects and it stretches everyone on the project far too thin.
- I don’t schedule a break for myself. You know, a break to breathe. Ha!
So, how do you avoid the stressful feeling of overwhelm? I find that the more attention I pay to project timelines, the better I can prepare for – or even avoid – those stressful times. And I have a few key tips that really work.
At the beginning of each project, you need to work very closely with the client, the contractor, and your team to get some reliable timelines in place – and calendar them! Yes, it’s very hard to nail down a timeline, when you aren’t completely sure of the entire scope of work, but experience can give you a basic idea.
Remember, you’ll need to work with the contractor and trades because you don’t know what jobs they’re also juggling – or what surprises may come up. When I am working on a new kitchen or bath or even new build, I rely heavily on some general timelines I have created in order to get some parameters around the project.
Once you have a general timeline, then try and work through the specialties of the project. For example, if you know that you have two kitchen projects going on that may need the tile person in the same weeks, then work with the contractor to see what you can do to avoid the crunch time.
Timelines not only help you, but they help the contractor and client keep their expectations in check. Remind them that the schedule is there as a guide to keep everyone’s expectations in check.
Please download a general timeline for a kitchen remodel here so that you can incorporate it into your next project. Hopefully, it will help you avoid stress, crushed expectations and keep everyone looking at the same goal.