Here are four questions. If you answer yes to any of the below, you may be in need of the productivity trick in this blog.
- Was the first thing you did this morning check your; phone, email, twitter, facebook or whatever?
- Do you get so distracted you forget what you were doing in the first place?
- Do you check Facebook more than ten times a day?
- Do you just get frrrrrrrustrated because you are constantly distracted by digital stuff?
In the ongoing quest to cut clutter, I've been revisiting Tim Ferriss' book The 4-Hour Work Week for some inspiration on productivity. His mantra is that being selective is the path to productivity.
What could be a better way to cut clutter? But I can already hear your objections. "Yeah, yeah, yeah. If I do less, I just won't get all my work done".
Ahhhh. Don't worry, because here's something that I've found useful that Tim writes about.
"Work expands/shrinks so as to fill the time available for its completion."
Or put another way: The amount of time which one has to perform a task is the amount of time it will take to complete the task.
It's quite simple really - if you give yourself three weeks to clean out the attic, it'll take you three weeks. If you give yourself a day to do the same job, somehow you'll get it done.
If you give yourself 'a year to find a new job'... guess how long it'll take you?
Why am I recommending Parkinson's Law? In the interests of cutting clutter, I put this to the test last week. I set myself exactly 2 hours and 20 minutes to write two blogs, and three Success Sanctuary programs. Normally it takes me at least that long to write one blog or one program. "There's no way I can do this", I thought.
It's no exaggeration to say I had one of the most astonishingly productive afternoons. I achieved everything I'd set out to do, and weirdly finished the final program at bang on 18:00pm, the exact minute of the deadline I'd set myself to finish this work.
Remember under Parkinson's Law, work shrinks so as to fill the time available for its completion. I operated with a laser-like intensity. I got results fast, and I think (hope!) the quality is at exactly the same level as it normally is. (I suppose you'll be the judge of that, eh.)
Have fun putting Parkinson's Law into practice this week, give yourself less time and strict deadlines to do the work, and see what happens.