Don’t believe me; believe Seth.
The last minute is not a buffer zone,
nor is it the moment to double-check your work.
Before that last minute, set aside a few hours or a few days at the end (the amount depending on the length of your response period) and hold it free of any planned work. Having this explicit management reserve is an essential tool in meeting schedule, which is the most-important thing in Proposal Land.
Good proposal teams schedule time to check their work, more than once and yes, at the end. They also allow time for things to go off the rails. Because they often do. And if they don’t consume all your management reserve? You can have a little more time to add to Seth’s last minute to admire your handiwork and your project planning.
Change the font size. Change the typeface. Use a different colour. Print it out. Look at the pages upside down or sideways. Do anything to break the trap of “Oh, yeah, I’ve seen this before.” Pass it to a non-involved friend and ask her to find anything that doesn’t look right — then read over her shoulder. She won’t find any errors, but you will — if you can see the text with new eyes.
Jim T – 🙂 All good ideas. Way before modern word processors, a university-era friend wrote a routine to print out his thesis backward, word by word. When he wasn’t reading for sense (indeed, when he couldn’t), he found it easier to see errors. As you say, a different view.