Parkinson’s Law states (loosely) that work will expand to fill the time allowed for it. If you give yourself a week to complete a task, it will take all week regardless of how big the task actually is.
Can we agree that on those days where you feel unstoppable, you sometimes find that you’re actually capable of mowing down your problems like it’s going out of style? You start to act unstoppable. It all seems so clear.
I have to share this story from the classic book Peopleware because I’ve been thinking about it all day. I’m paraphrasing, and the book is excellent so maybe just pick it up instead of reading this post.
Looking good isn’t as important as getting things done.
In a brilliant introductory post about painting, I read this surprisingly valuable advice: No matter what you think of it at the time, you should always keep your first painting.
Today, try to be the person your dog believes you are. That’s a tall order! But just try. They believe you can do it. Who are you to say they’re wrong?
It took a long time before I realized that construction is a two-step process. It’s not about building something which looks good. That’s way too hard and takes too long. It’s about building something which serves its purpose in the simplest way possible, then building the simplest possible layer on top which can make it look good.
When I was learning to paint, I told my partner I was thinking of building a box. “To put the paintings in,” I explained.
There’s such a thing as too predictable, and such a thing as not predictable enough.
When I get down to really focused work, I mutter like a madman. I stare into the middle distance and mouth arcane syllables. If I’m really into it I start making inscrutable hand gestures. To a bystander it looks a little like I’m performing a ritual, or sending a nefarious secret message to a nearby invisible warlock.