Have you ever found yourself feeling more efficient when you’re busy? Or that you always find yourself busy right before going on vacation? Unconsciously, you may have experienced what’s known as Parkinson’s Law — but did you know that very same concept can also sabotage your success? Let’s learn what Parkinson’s Law is and how we can harness it for success.
Parkinson’s Law is the adage that work expands to fill the time allotted for its completion. It was coined in 1955 by Cyrus Northcoat Parkinson in The Economist when he described an experiment in which a woman’s only task for the day was to send a postcard. It’s a task that should take all of 5 minutes, yet she embarked on a process that filled hours out of her day — an hour finding the card, 20 minutes finding her glasses, 90 minutes writing and re-writing the card — and so on.
Our days were once filled with the market giving us lots of things to do. Our phones were ringing and email inboxes were full of people asking us for help. Things have changed in the past 12-18 months, and we might find ourselves stretching out what we do have to do to fill our days and give ourselves a sense of accomplishment. But is it coming at the expense of engaging in productive activities? How can we circumvent this natural tendency and get our productivity back on track? Here are a few suggestions:
Set a timeline for the task first, then the due date. If you know you need to get a just listed postcard designed and out in 2 weeks but it will actually take 5 days to complete the task, set the due date for 5 days. Parkinson’s law says if you give yourself 2 weeks you will stretch out that task 3 times longer than it takes.
Understand the scope of your task. Ever started the morning with the task of cleaning off your desk at home with nothing planned until 1 pm? It should take you 30 minutes to complete, but you find yourself reorganizing your bookshelves or file cabinets and it’s lunchtime – this is project creep. Stick to the task at hand which gives you time to schedule more productive activities
Create more (productive) tasks for yourself. Creating a task with a time associated with its completion allows you to create spaces in your calendar and to segment out time for productive activities. Then you visually see you DO have time to create opportunities for more sales.
So you might be asking yourself — what does this have to do with Key Mortgage? The answer is nothing, but everything you just read applies to any sales professional. As a true business partner, our Key Mortgage loan officers can partner with you on activities that will have a meaningful impact on our collective business. It could be that homebuyer workshop you have been talking about doing but just can’t find the time — maybe it’s always been there!
If this rings true for you and you want to get started on increasing your productivity, reach out to a Key Mortgage loan officer today.