The more that you work from a reactive, latest and loudest standpoint (for some people that's their default setting) the easier it is to think that a project for a client that's due in four months time isn't something that you need to worry about at the moment.
But it's always worth taking a moment or two when a project first comes onto your radar to step back to think through what needs to happen in order for you to meet that deadline, having completed that project on time delivering as much value for your client as you possibly can so that you can make the most of the opportunity.
Then you'll discover that in order to complete this new project in two months means that you'll need to get your client to approve your final design at least two weeks before that. You'd really like to get your colleague's input on what you're proposing because you know that she produced a similar project for another client recently that got a great reception. But she's going to be on holiday for two weeks so you'd better have that meeting to discuss this opportunity pretty soon.
To make that meeting worthwhile you'll want to send round an agenda so that everyone that you'd like to have involved has the chance to prepare.
You keeping working backwards until you realise that to make the project that's due in two months work as well as it possibly can that meeting agenda has to be created and sent out today.
But you have that other big project that's due soon and you have to send another client a proposal that you promised three days ago that you haven't started yet and you have 973 emails in your inbox and wait, there goes the phone again...
So you put the new project on one side because two months is plenty of time to get this done.
Except of course that it isn't.
How many times have you missed a delivery date for a client because you didn't proactively plan up front?
Next time don't let a due date that feels as though it's a long way off fool you. Take a few moments to plan as soon as the project gets to you to save lots of stress, lots of midnight oil and avoid a compromised result that your client inevitably isn't as happy with as they might have been. Make sure that you don't miss an opportunity to deliver something special.