“Just checking you’re right to send me the article today about mums of teens being overwhelmed,” emailed the editor of a magazine last week, the day my promised article was due. I was 10 days off a huge book deadline and I’d completely forgotten to write the story.
While I was madly typing the article, there was a knock at my door. Now what? I wondered, throwing the door open only to find my 5-year-old standing there — his cousins having brought him home from the bus stop (which is only three doors up), after I’d forgotten the time due to my overwhelm over the overwhelm article.
I made him some afternoon tea and bashed out some words in record time, submitting the story before the deadline. I’d had three months to write it, and it took 30 minutes.
Parkinson’s law says work will expand into the time that is available to complete it. I can report that work also contracts into the available time, if you find yourself having messed up the arrangement.
It did make me question the time I take to write these posts each week, which is something I’ve questioned before — often mid-afternoon on Sunday, when I sit down to write them and muck around on Facebook or read the news or watch something on Netflix instead. I’ve tried getting organised and setting them up on Fridays but that time during the week tends to be snaffled by priorities more directly linked to client work.
I don’t mind writing on Sundays. I just mind when I allow it to take forever to get motivated. That’s why my overdue overwhelm article was a gift.
Half an hour is my new limit for writing this post, and you have my permission to get in touch and let me know if you notice any drop in quality!
Meanwhile, what about you? Are you able to contract the time you’re spending on certain work tasks and give yourself the gift of more time for other things? Fun stuff, preferably…
Would love to know how you go playing with the stretchy ‘accordion’ of time this week!