Understand the Law of Contraction and Expansion
Northcote Parkinson once said, “Work either expands or contracts in order to fill the time available.” This is often referred to as “Parkinson’s Law.” Also known as the Law of Contraction (or the Law of Forced Efficiency), it means that activity will expand or contract to meet its imposed deadline.
If you have 3 days to finish something or 3 hours. You will fill that amount of allotted time to get it done. Also note, you can do more and better than you are currently doing. Just think about how you work the week prior to going on any holidays. See what I mean.
1. Don’t Think! Our heads often get in the way of us acting on stuff, so you need to use the “don’t think!” method of getting started. Let’s say you want to go for a walk. But it’s bit chilly outside and your head kicks in, you simply say to yourself “don’t think!, don’t think, don’t think!” you say this as you are tying on your shoes and as you head out the door. So use the “don’t think” method of getting started.
2. Change Habits! We are exactly who we are, because of our habits, so if you want to start a weekly routine of anything, doing your crafts, art, exercise, Always, always, always do something on a Monday. Because if we do something on a Monday, we tend to also pick it up again on a Wednesday, maybe Saturday and Sunday.
3. Know Yourself! If you are the type of person who does better at getting to stuff, when you are with a friend. Then set it up. We are all more accountable and tend to get started on things when we have to meet up with a friend.
4. Use the Force! Sometimes the truth is, we need to force ourselves off of the couch, or the office. Be prepared with whatever equipment you need to get to the ‘task’ you want to start. And just force yourself to just get started. Remember the snowball effect will take over once you’ve started.
5. Energy’s Up! This one is also about being self aware and honest with yourself. If you are not getting to that paper you need to write, or a report for work. Or for most of us, that walk or run, then you need to know what time of day works best for you. This one is all over the map for people. Some of us are more creative at night, some of us can only exercise in the morning. Just be open to what you need and honour yourself with that then plan your schedule accordingly. If your most creative and high energy time is in the morning, then do not fill that time with responding to emails. Do your emails when your energy is down, which for most of us is early to mid afternoon.
6. Write it down and Tell someone! Now tip six here is the meat and potatoes of this book. You will get more done, accomplish more in your life and feel better about yourself, if you write down what you want to start and tell someone what it is you want to start. This is also the toughest tip and the biggest hurdle for most people. Very few people ever write down any goals outside of their workplace. So break the norm and JUST GET STARTED!
Linda Edgecombe, CSP
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