How To Organize By Setting Incredibly Short Deadlines

“Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.”


What an “aha moment” it was to read this in Tim Ferriss’ book The 4-Hour Workweek. This is called Parkinson’s law and explains how and why modern workers take eight hours each day to complete work that can (usually) be done in a fraction of that time.  It also explains why it can take you a year to tackle a file drawer when you make it a new year’s resolution.

What if you gave yourself some ridiculous goals, such as:

- 5 minutes to take everything out of your office that you do not love or find useful

- 20 minutes to tackle a shelf in your supply closet

- 30 minutes to speed through one file drawer

- 1 week to sort and file every pile in your office

Would you be more focused?  Would you discover that tasks like these are never as difficult as they seem?  Would you do whatever it took to meet your deadline?  Is there even a chance that your quality of work might be better when working under pressure?

What project in your office can you complete by this time next week?  Aim big.  Cleaning out your pencil cup does not count.  What project can you complete in the next two minutes?  Cleaning out your pencil cup does count.  Please share thoughts in the comments!


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Office Organizing Expert Kacy Paide loves to do what most people hate: organize offices & paper.

She works with folks who are desperate for a more functional, more beautiful, more inspiring office. Kacy has been a Professional Organizer since 2001 and has worked with over 500 clients. Call her crazy, but she loves a good mess and wants to fix yours. Learn her time-tested solutions in her eBook, The Inspired Office: Organize Your Life One Paper at a Time. Based in Silver Spring, MD, Kacy is nationally available for consulting & speaking.