-Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
If you’re anything like me, you often have tons of ideas floating around in your head about what you’d like to accomplish, experience, learn, etc. Here are 2 principles that will help you to convert those ideas into big, life-changing actions.
Principle #1: Parkinson’s Law:The time it takes to complete a task is dependent upon the time allotted.
This is an incredibly interesting phenomenon that many people are not familiar with. If you give yourself 1 month to complete a project, that project will in fact take 1 month to complete. However, if you give yourself 1 week to complete the same project, you will finish in 1 week. A task will naturally expand or contract to fill the time given to complete it.
Expanded, this theory also states:The demand upon a resource tends to expand to match the supply of the resource.
So, not only will our project expand to fill the given time, but also the given resources (such as attention, focus and hard work).
Here’s what this means…
Human nature dictates that we will make a project much more complicated than it needs to be if we give ourselves too much time or too many resources.
This is not to say procrastination is the answer. We all know that leaving too little time to complete a task can cause stress and panic, leading to incredibly poor work. However, it turns out leaving too much time can lead to creating more work than is actually necessary, which results in poorer work also. (Believe it or not, you will not have better work if you spend more time and energy on it than is required, you will only drain yourself)
The key is to accurately determine the amount of time and attention necessary for each project you take on. Write down your goals, and give them time limits (even if you have no real external limits, place them on yourself). You will be surprised at the amount of time and energy that is actually required to accomplish your goals and how much you can get done with less.
Principle #2: The Law of Diminishing Intent
The longer it takes for you to take action, the less likely it is for you to actually take that action.
For example, let’s say you decide to go on a run. The longer you wait to put on your running shoes and begin running, the less likely it is that you will actually go on that run. As time ticks by, your intent diminishes.
So when you decide to complete a goal, take the first step RIGHT NOW.
Write your goals down, give them specific, appropriate timelines, and take step 1 immediately, before the day is over. Even if step 1 is small, it will dramatically affect the likelihood that you will accomplish the task at hand. You will be much more likely to follow through and succeed in creating the amazing life that you want.