The Monday Mover

Delivering high-impact career tips every Monday morning. 

TMM# 014: Padding your schedule doesn't work, successful people do this instead.

Sep 19, 2022

Ever pad your schedule with extra time to make sure you can get something done EXACTLY the way you want?

You've got great intentions. You've set aside a bunch of time so you can focus. You've poured the perfect cup of coffee. You're ready to get going. Then before you know it, it's still not done. 

You end up feeling more stressed and you have less accomplished.

This is me 10/10 times when I try to create the perfect environment for productivity. 

It took me a long time to understand that overestimating how long something might take or giving myself a "cushion" was actually sabotaging my goals. 

I wasn't the only person, or organization, who experienced this. 

Cyril Northcote Parkinson articulated it beautifully in an essay published in The Economist, when he wrote:

‘Work stretches to fill the time that is available for its completion.’

Even though he wrote this in 1955, its words still ring true. 

Let's talk about why this happens and what successful people do instead. 


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