Are you familiar with Parkinson’s Law?
Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.
If not from the actual definition, I’m sure you’ve experienced it yourself. If you were given a week to complete a college homework assignment you probably took a week to do it.
When the marketing team at work is given three months to do a market research analysis, lo and behold, the report and presentation are scheduled around the 90-day mark.
A software team has a killer new user experience they want to deliver and are given a year to release. When do you think the new version will show up?
But what about when a new customer deal is coming in hot and they are looking for a feature that doesn’t exist yet. They demand a proof-of-concept before they will sign a contract. And their decision is to be made next week.
Normally the Product team would hem-and-haw about their super-special software development lifecycle but when the CEO says “this has to happen” mountains get moved by the engineers.
You could look at that as the inverse of Parkinson’s law:
The time available for the work is predetermined. Do it anyway.
There is some minimal amount of time that is considered “reasonable.” The CEO (at least a good one) knows better than to demand the MVP of the feature the next day, but also knows for the sake of the business waiting three weeks is not a good idea.
Having more time, a bigger budget, a larger team, would be nice. Yet sometimes you have to deliver anyway. You could complain and take a stand, not deliver, and then you get the bad grade or get replaced.
Having “enough time”, a gym membership to the place all the celebrities train at, or the means to purchase only organic non-GMO foods would also be nice to finally get in shape.
It’s easy to see yourself as not having the right <insert whatever limiting factor floats your boat here> and tell yourself “I can’t really take care of myself properly, because of that.”
But what if you did it anyway? What kind of self-imposed deadline or driving force can you come up with to overcome?
It could be a big achievement like running a marathon. It could be wanting to run around the backyard with your grandkids and having enough energy to do it for more than 90 seconds.
Or, it could even be so that when your boss comes to you with some deadline that the rest of your team would balk at, you turn around and say “Consider it done.” And you deliver it early.
That’s only possible when you are your best self, both mentally and physically.
Yes, the conditions in your life aren’t perfect right now. Do it anyway.