A simple hack to get more done in less time
Do you find things usually take longer to do than you expect?
One reason might be because you didn’t decide how long to spend on them.
It’s easy to think things just take how long they take, but that’s actually not true.
You have complete control over how much time you’re going to spend doing something.
Prepping slides for that meeting?
You could spend the whole day doing them - adjusting the colour scheme on that graph - tweaking the words.
Or you could spend an hour and still get them done in a way that communicates the message.
Because work expands to fill the time you give it.
And when you don’t give your brain a time limit on tasks, it feels vague and open ended.
And so it’s easy to spend more time on things than is necessary.
Time that instead you could be finishing up early and going for a hike, or walking your dog with your family, or grabbing dinner with a friend.
When you decide on purpose how long you want to spend on those slides, it helps your brain to stay focused.
If you know you’ve given yourself an hour, you’ll likely get a first full rough draft completed that meets the objectives of the meeting, then adjust anything as required.
With a self-imposed deadline, your brain will prioritise doing the important parts first.
And think deeply.
You’ll leave your phone on airplane mode.
And not jump into your inbox just to check if the investor replied.
Because you’ve made a commitment to get the slides finished in an hour.
And so you’ll get those slides done.
Without wasting time tweaking colours or distracting yourself with emails or Instagram.
And it will feel absolutely amazing.
So next time you’re about to start a piece of work - decide in advance how long you’re going to spend on it.
Block out the time in your calendar.
And stick to it.
You’ll save so much time.
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