Jul 19, 2018
TIME, PRODUCTIVITY and GOLDFISH: WHERE’S THE CONNECTION?
Key responsibilities of executives include setting priorities, investing resources wisely, making sure the organization has a culture of execution. Everyone is an executive of something—be it an entire farming operation, a team at work, my household, or just my own life—we all set priorities, invest resources and get things done efficiently.
Execution is vital to
Too many businesses drown in great ideas while being starved for action. Great execution demands:
THIS IS WHERE THE GOLDFISH BOWL COMES IN
They say that goldfish will grow to the size of the environment they’re put into—bigger tank, bigger fish. While this isn’t completely true, it illustrates the next point: Our work will grow with the time we give it. The goldfish may not be a perfect analogy, but there is a name for this phenomenon. It’s called Parkinson’s Law, and it states: “Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.”
EXAMPLE: Whether you give yourself the whole weekend to clean the garage, or only two hours—doubtless, you’ll take exactly the amount of time you allotted for the project. You bring a whole different level of focus when you know there’s a time limit. Give each project a hard stop time—or make a promise to someone else—and you’ll see the power and tension of this law at work every time.
Give yourself and your team deadlines to ramp up productivity and build execution skills. Add accountability. Be clear on priorities. Observe how each project can help you grow your competency through learning, or sharpen your existing skills.
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*Recommended reading: Execution – The Discipline of Getting Things Done. Larry Bossidy & Ram Charan. Currency. 2002. Buy it at Amazon.