Have you ever heard that if you want something done you should give it to a busy person to do it?

I first experienced the truth of this concept at a point in my life when I felt so overwhelmed with the stress of having to create new choreography for my dance class that I was contemplating giving it up. Before throwing in the towel, I decided to try something new.

Instead of the usual stressing for days and spending hours creating a new piece of choreography, I gave myself just 45 minutes to do it. I wanted to train myself to get it done in less time with less stress. When I needed to teach a new routine at 9:30am I would start working on that choreography by 8:45am and because I had given myself such a tight deadline, it was done every time. Not only were the new routines choreographed in time, but I was so pleased with what I was producing and impressed that if it had to get done, that I would actually get it done.

It turned out that the extra time I had been giving myself wasn’t actually helping.

Why? Parkinson’s Law may be a good explanation. It states that work expands to fill the time available for its completion. Busy people have a limited amount of time to fuss over details or second guess themselves. If you don’t put a deadline on projects or limit how much time you give yourself to complete a task, you may be wasting precious time and causing yourself more stress than necessary.

If you are not used to giving yourself deadlines, try it out!

Whether it is writing a blog post, finding the perfect dress for a party or finishing a longer term project like cleaning out your closets, always be clear about how much time you are giving yourself to finish it. If you are like me, you may be trying to justify that deadlines limit your creativity or that it is too stressful to create these boundaries.  I suggest you put aside your justifications and give it a try. Join me in becoming one of those people that gets more done in less time.