Hello and welcome to the 11th volume or edition of SAM Moments™!
Why should you set BIG GOALS with Short Deadlines? That is this week’s theme and, it may surprise you, but it has nothing to do with the book that I wrote by the same name! Actually, this week’s SAM Moments could have been called “The BIG GOALS Paradox” or “The BIG GOALS Quandary” because it almost sounds absurd, doesn’t it? Setting BIG GOALS with Short Deadlines, defies the logic for a lot of people, especially for those who prefer to play things safe. And it sounds a bit crazy and even absurd to those who like certainty!
But there’s a real logic to it and here’s why:
Work expands to fill the time available!
That is an old quote that I heard in some Time Management courses many years ago and it bears repeating: Work expands to fill the time available. This has certainly been my experience: If you allow more time to do something, it’ll take more time. If you don’t, it won’t. It’s just that simple.
Have you ever taken twice as long on a project or task than you know it should have taken? How about, “Have you ever tried to squeeze a 30-minute workout…into an hour? I know that I sure have, usually because I was spending too much time socializing! It happens with tasks, goals, exercise and even with stuff packed away in your drawers at home! Let me test my theory:
How many of your drawers in your home or at work are empty?
I tried that experiment at home when I asked my wife, “Honey, let’s see if we could keep one drawer empty?” We couldn’t. See what I mean? The more space you have, whether it’s visible like “stuff” or invisible, like “time”, things tend to expand into the space that you allow for it.
Trust me on this one: Set BIG GOALS with Short Deadlines! I would bet you a dollar-to-a-donut that you will have the same experience that I do and that is:
This strategy has helped me achieve a whole bunch of things that would probably not have happened if I did not, from learning how to jump rope, raising money and building an Elementary School Playground in 49 days, winning a mayoral race against the odds, building our building and, of course, finishing the 50 Capitols in 50 Days trip in just 44 days. It is like Daniel Burnham, the famous architect credited with reviving Chicago after the Great Chicago Fire and for designing the lakefront, who said:
Make no little plans, for they have not magic to stir men’s blood. - Daniel Burnham
As I was preparing for this week’s SAM Moments™, I realized: “That’s it! There must be MAGIC in setting BIG GOALS…with Short Deadlines! Try it…and let me know if the magic works for you?!