Excerpted from the book on mindful business management, Business Black Belt.
“Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.”
~ Cyril Northcote Parkinson
When you proactively fill your time, you can prevent BS from filling it for you.
A friend of mine was complaining that many otherwise great projects were going undone because he just couldn’t get to them. How was he going to have time with his family, go scuba diving, and generally do the other things in life that interested him?
My recommendation was to reverse the process. Instead of trying to plan his work time more effectively, what about planning his personal time more effectively? Since “activities expand to fill the time available” then you need to set your own parameters on time allowed for projects. Plan your outside activities instead. If you want more time with your family, leave the office by 6:00 PM or whatever time that works for you, and make that your rule. Think about the experience you’ve had already with this.
If you were leaving for a two-week business trip or vacation, isn’t it amazing how you naturally know exactly what your priorities are, how fast you can complete them, and how miraculously efficient you are in getting everything done?
You achieve a Zen-like state of focus and clarity. What if your normally fun activities could be used as bookends to your work life?
Business Black Belt Notes
- Get your job done by scheduling personal activities that provide motivating deadlines.
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