Chatted about doing work to deadlines and how to avoid Parkinson’s Law, which says that work expands to fill the time allowed for its completion. So a couple of seemingly useful rules to follow:

  • Front load the schedule, get more done sooner rather than spreading work equally across the time available.
  • Don’t ask how long something will take to do, ask when it’s needed by.

The more I think about it, the more I realise that our work is to unblock the flow of value, and the way we do that is to complete tasks. Every uncompleted task blocks the flow of value, and every completed task, even a really really small one, removes a barrier. Thinking in that way, the number of tasks completed becomes a proxy for value.

Of all the things that bring a sense of dread to the workplace, “We’re forming a committee” must be on a list somewhere.