Posts Tagged ‘limit’

2 Ways to Buy Time

July 18, 2008

How often do you tackle a task and then ask yourself, “Why is this taking me FOREVER!?”

There is an old adage called Parkinson’s Law, which says that “work expands to fill the time available.” It’s a short way of saying that we can SAVE time by setting aside LESS of it to begin.

The following are 2 practical applications — tools you can use to literally buy yourself time:

1) ADOPT AN EGG-TIMER: The egg-timer is one of the greatest time management tools! (If it’s more your style, a stopwatch works just as well). Set the egg-timer to 15 minutes, and race against the clock to finish all assortments of pesky tasks around the home or office. Try it for limiting the time you spend on cleaning, filing, writing emails, or getting ready to leave in the morning. This really works!! By setting a clear time limit, you force yourself to get more done quickly. Fifteen minutes is arbitrary. Set the time limit to suit your purposes…but keep it much shorter than you’re used to. For habitual tasks, experiment with decreasing the time allotment week by week, effectively training yourself to work smarter and faster.

2) SET AN EARLIER DEADLINE: This strategy works well when you find yourself dragging out the process of making a decision. There is freedom (and time to be gained) in realizing that other people’s deadlines need not be your own. It’s not often that we think about making deadlines tighter, but shorter timeframes have a way of reducing days of worry. Try it next time a client or vendor wants an answer “by next Monday.” Set a personal deadline to speak with him/her by 3pm on Friday, in time to enjoy the weekend with the decision behind you.

With cheer!


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