Byron's Babbles

Just 10 Minutes Of Your Time

Posted in Educational Leadership, Global Leadership, Leadership, Leadership Development by Dr. Byron L. Ernest on March 9, 2023

This morning I am reflecting on another topic brought up in Rachel Pedersen’s great book, Unfiltered: Proven Strategies To Start And Grow Your Business By Not Following The Rules: Parkinson’s Law. Parkinson’s Law states that as “Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.” In other words, work expands to fill the time available for its completion. If you give yourself a week to complete a task, it will take a week, but if you give yourself a day, you will be able to complete it in a day. Rachel emphasized the importance of setting realistic, but aggressive deadlines up front. She also discussed limiting the amount of time spent on tasks to increase productivity and efficiency. I have been paying attention to this lately. In fact this week I had a client schedule a 15 minute meeting with me. Guess what? It took 13 minutes. So, another client asked for an hour. I suggested a 30 minute gap between other meetings. You guessed it; the meeting took 26 minutes. So, one of my big takeaways is to get away from the default time periods for meetings – 30 minutes or one hour. I’m even trying some 10 minute calls. Calendly really helps me with that kind of scheduling.

One thing I have learned is that setting a clear deadline, breaking the task down into smaller chunks, and limiting the time spent, I can accomplish more in less time and feel more satisfied with the progress. Ingvar Kamprad, Founder of IKEA, advocated for splitting our days into 10 minute increments. Then, trying to waste as few of those 10 minutes as possible. I tried it – I was amazed at how few I wasted. And…I didn’t get bored with any one thing. Now, will that work for everything? Nope, but one more tool in the toolbox. I love having tools in the toolbox. Instead of letting projects take on a life of their own, we need to design the scope up front, because otherwise those projects will take on a life if their own and take as long as we let them.


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