Let’s face it, most of us hate pressure. It creates anxiety and stress for most, but it’s necessary for results. Taken to the extreme, it’s detrimental to our physical health. Take video game developers, for instance. They have a word to describe the hard work that goes into their work. They call it “crunch,” and it simply refers to working insane hours to meet the studio’s deadline.
While I don’t want you to place yourself under the amount of pressure it would take to release the next Call of Duty, you can definitely employ these methods to boost productivity. It’s simple, give yourself deadlines.
I know, you’re completely blown-away by this groundbreaking concept. But, hear me out. Remember back in middle school when you had that history paper to write? Did you complete it as soon as it was assigned or wait until the night before like I did? While it might sound sad to admit it, there’s a reason for this. Originally coined in The Economist in 1955, Parkinson’s Law states that “Work expands to fill the time available for its completion.”
So, here’s the question you have to ask yourself. If we decide to condense the time frame, does this mean that the work will get done sooner! YES! I’ve spent the last year experimenting with this concept and have found it to be hilariously true. I can’t tell you how many weeks that I waited until the last minute only to write a pretty decent (well, you be the judge of that…) blog post in under a half hour.
The biggest example I can honestly give you is myself. As of this writing, my wife is 36-weeks pregnant with a due date around January 30th. Knowing that I have a beautiful baby girl on the way at the end of January was the push I needed. In preparation for her arrival, I’ve been much more productive over the last couple of months.
Here’s my challenge to you. Create a little pressure for yourself and see what happens. Start with more generous timeframes and gradually move the deadline up. I think you’ll find you need less time than you think.
Train your body. Feed your mind.