There is never
enough time to do everything but there is always enough time to do
the most important things. When you find yourself under
pressure to get a job done by a particular deadline, you are forced
to be vastly more efficient than you would ever be if you felt that
you had ample time. This explains why so many people get the job
done only when they are faced with stringent deadlines.
says, "Work expands to fill the time allotted for it." If
you have two hours of work to do and an entire day in which to do
it, the work will tend to expand gradually, and will take you all
day long to complete the two hours of work.
Reverse Parkinson's Law
reverse is also true. It is "Work contracts to fill the time
allotted for it." Use this law by setting deadlines for
yourself that force you to complete the task far sooner.
Continually analyze your work and focus your attention on
completing your most important task, the task that represents the
most valuable contribution you can make, on schedule, if not
Here are four questions you can ask yourself every
day to keep yourself on your most important tasks:
- What are my highest value
activities? What are the things that I do that contribute the
greatest amount of value to my work?
- What are my key result
areas? What are the specific results that I have been hired to
- Why am I on the payroll?
Why do they pay me money at my job? What specifically have I been
asked to do?
- What can I, and only I, do
that, if done well, will make a real difference? If I don't do
it, it won't get done. But if I do it, and I do it well, it will
make a significant contribution to my work and my life. What is
At any Given Time
usually only one activity that represents the highest and best use
of your time. Your job is to identify it and then to
throw your whole heart into getting it done quickly and well.
Create your own "forcing system." Set specific deadlines for
yourself and then resolve to get the job done well ahead of
most important task, the task that represent the most
significant contribution you make to your company. Resolve to work
exclusively on that task before you start on anything else!
excerpted from Brian Tracy's "How To Master Your
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