Scope creep is an interesting concept to measure how easy it can be to get distracted and off focus from your project schedule. Isn't it interesting how easy it can be to feel that you have endless amount of time, as you are discussing new ideas and additions to an existing project, in a matter of a few weeks before a deliverable date? Well, I would like to say that I am always trying to keep scope creep far far away from my weekends and day offs. I have been in situations where I will plan a vacation day to get caught up on some cleaning and errands, but then before I know it, I would have dived into cooking some meals, searching for a new knitting project, and then start to do some cleaning, whilst leaving out the most important part of my day, which was to get the errands done, and that I would realize once 5'o clock comes around and I am too tired to bother.
After having my son, I must say that I have been making use of every spare minute I can get, as I cannot afford to get scope creep. The mentality has shifted to, 'now or never', based off of what I have scheduled for the day. Therefore, I always start with the most time consuming and time sensitive tasks, and then moving down the list of must-dos, leaving behind the nice-to-dos, to any leftover time and energy I have before I go to bed. I have found making a task list and then allocating the deadline and time slot onto a calendar onto my phone really helps. This way, I can set reminders and alarms to alert me to move on to the next task. This method also helps me see how much time things really take, and see if I realistically have time to do the extra things I would like to on the list as well. Furthermore, if I am on a tight budget for that day, it is a good way for me to see which tasks will cost me money and be able to plan the costs more effectively, such as taking care of all errands on the same day of an upcoming appointment or grocery errand. This is the way I like to monitor my project tasks. When there are "clearly define[d] activities and events, [it] helps the project manager understand where a project stands, when a milestone is achieved, or missed, and when an activity is or isn't performed" (Portney et all, 2008, pg. 338). This is a great way to reflect and go back to see your progress and be able to make improvements where needed.
Portny, S. E., Mantel, S. J., Meredith, J. R., Shafer, S. M., Sutton, M. M., & Kramer, B. E. (2008). Project management: Planning, scheduling, and controlling projects. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.