Time expands

04.04.12 | Posted in General

It’s a funny thing, time. When you have more of it, you get less done.
We pulled off a really big coup at Business Chicks last week. We secured Sir Bob Geldof as our next guest speaker in Melbourne. What made it a bigger coup is that it all took about four hours. In four hours we negotiated the deal with Sir Bob’s office and the digital team wrote the copy for the invite and website and made the event live. The events team secured a venue and paid the deposit; the partnerships team secured an event sponsor; the marketing team sent it through our social channels; we put the event on sale and we cracked open the champagne.

What could have taken months took four hours.

Your tasks and workload will expand to fill the time you’ve got, so why not shorten it? This is exactly why I give my team every Friday afternoon off at Business Chicks. Since we’ve been doing this, there’s been no effect on productivity. In fact I’d say our productivity has increased because the team know that they’ve only got a half day on Fridays, so they work hard and manage their time around this.


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  1. Rachel

    I couldn’t agree more that our work expands to fill our deadline and I love the idea of taking Friday afternoon off. I know if we worked like that in my office, the amount of work that would be done in the morning would compensate for sure. I find the same with assignments, I try so hard to be better prepared and finish them early but my brain only really starts working closer to the deadline. Frustrating!

  2. Faye Hollands

    Such a good point Emma … I work with a lot of my clients on the concept of ‘Parkinsons Law’ which is all about workload expanding to fill the time you’ve got and it’s amazing how much more you can get done in less time when you work with this principle.

    Great job of securing Sir Bob, and an awesome effort to get it all wrapped up in 4 hours – I’m not surprised you were cracking open the champers!

    Keep up the great work, you’re an inspiration,


  3. Ty Armstrong

    Well done, – and it took such a long time to pull off – 4 hrs.
    I have noticed how people tend to do some work then some play, whether it is sending emails, looking on the net or checking their friends Baby photos on Facebook.
    But when we have a goal as you said Friday afternoons off, then people tend to concentrate on the task at hand knowing that in the end they can play all Friday afternoon and well into the weekend.
    More people should take note of this, we can do far more in far less time than we think we can – you have just proved it.
    Hopefully I can get down to Melbourne for what will be an inspirational talk.

    Good people doing good things for good causes!

    Ty :-)

  4. Natalie

    Thanks for the idea Emma! I have my own business and work from home and I think that the idea of giving myself the afternoon off would definitely work for me and I would get more done rather than get distracted.

    I am going to try it this week…and maybe in that afternoon finally start the Steve Jobs biography that I have had since Christmas