“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.”
~ Abraham Lincoln
We all have the time to get work done, the key to productivity is how you choose to use it. With distractions all around us it’s easy to pick away at tasks, but then everything takes longer than it needs to.
Do you focus and get work done, or do you unnecessarily draw out the life of a task? When time is limited, try this …
… watch the 90 second video below to learn a quick and easy hack to get time on your side and power up productivity (or read the transcript that follows), plus see below for an exciting event announcement!
Since ‘work from home’ became the new reality, I’ve heard so many people talk about the time-management challenges that come from juggling childcare, scheduling meetings, and getting work done in less time. If you can relate, try this tactic, because we just never do our best work when multitasking.
In 1955, British historian Cyril Northcote Parkinson wrote an article for The Economist that opened with the statement, “It is a commonplace observation that work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.” Essentially, if you have two hours to complete a task, you’ll use the entire two hours, even if that task can be completed in less time. And so was born Parkinson’s Law.
Use Parkinson’s Law to improve how you work. For every task or goal you have in front of you:
- identify the scope of the task,
- determine how long it will realistically take to complete, (Seriously, we’re all guilty of dragging out tasks by overthinking, procrastinating, or allowing distractions in)
- then create your own time-driven deadline, which research shows can lead to higher outputs.
If you determine it will take you sixty minutes to complete a short-term task, set a timer for sixty minutes—or better yet, set a timer for forty-five minutes. During this time, allow no interruptions or distractions. Keep your head down, apply yourself thoroughly to the task, and get it done. If you end up needing more time, that’s fine. Do your best to complete the task before the time runs out, if it’s possible to do so without compromising the quality of your work. And finish early if you can complete the task in less time. Don’t drag it out.
I’m Michelle Cederberg sharing this simple tip backed by science and common sense.
EXCITING EVENT ANNOUNCEMENT!
It really does promise to be an on-line event like no other! Book your seat now.