Have you ever felt like there’s not enough time to do all things you want to do in your day?
Perhaps it’s progress towards your goals, building a personal habit like meditation, or building your side business while working at your full-time job.
I get it. There are only so many hours in the day. But there’s a concept I want to share with you that will help shift the way you see and use your time. It’s called Parkinson’s Law.
But first, a story.
I was chatting to a client of mine earlier this week and we were going through some goals he wants to achieve this year. At one point, we played a little game where I asked him to imagine we were chatting this time next year, and he was telling me how amazing 2018 was.
If you’re interested in playing, it goes something like this: “Holy shit, Bryan. 2018 was the most amazing year of my life. Let me tell you about it…”
I then asked him what he needed to say ‘no’ to in 2018 in order to achieve those goals. It concerned me when he told me he would need to stop seeing friends entirely, as it would waste time he could be working.
And that’s when I told him about Parkinson’s Law.
In a nutshell, Parkinson’s Law says that work expands to the amount of time we allocate to it.
It’s why you always seem to finish that project right before it’s due. It’s why you always feel busy. And it’s why you don’t think you have time for social events and seeing friends.
This is also the reason why setting a goal without a solid deadline is, quite literally, wasting your time. Keep that in mind when you’re setting goals next time.
(Side note: the rule also applies to money. Unless you ‘pay yourself first’, you will always tend to spend your full paycheck, even when you get a raise. In other words, your expenses expand to the amount of money you allocate to them.)
Here’s a fun personal example.
A lot of our friends and family have been getting engaged or married recently, and it blows my mind that despite months of planning, there are still people running around trying to get things done last minute.
Contrast that to our wedding, where the entire thing was planned in less than two weeks because we had a strong deadline (in fact, we were legally married in just 5 days).
Again, work (and weddings!) expands to the amount of time you give it.
Over to you: What have you been procrastinating on? Where can you set a strict deadline in your personal or professional life? If you want to boost your performance, reduce the time available and watch your results soar.
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