By the book
According to established procedure
- This is a private deal - we don't have to do everything by the book.
Pencil something in
Make tentative arrangements
- We'll pencil in the dates for the next two meetings and confirm them later.
Against the clock
Forced to hurry to meet a deadline
- The emergency services were working against the clock as the tide began to rise.
Back to the drawing board
Forced to begin something again
- The USA will have to go back to the drawing board after their hiding from the Czech Republic.
A working vacation
- Uncle Tom spent a busman's holiday working in his office.
Burn the midnight oil
Working late into the night
- If you often burn the midnight oil, you'll burn yourself out.
Back to the salt mines
It’s time for me (us) to go back to work
- I'm not excited to get back to the salt mines on Monday.
The last minute
- We only received the signatures at the eleventh hour.
In the works
Under development; coming soon
- Changes to the system are already in the works.