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December 25, 2020 5 mins

Stop rushing and have more fun at work

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Episode Transcript

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Speaker 1 (00:05):
Good morning. This is Laura. Welcome to The New Corner Office,
the podcast where we share strategies for thriving in the
new world of work, where location and ours are more
flexible than in the past. Today's tip is to give
yourself the gift of time. Some occasions call for swift,

or at least timely turnarounds. There's no reason to dawdle,
just todddle, but on big projects or big decisions, allowing
yourself a little extra time can make the whole process
far more pleasurable. Over the years, I've learned to write
really fast. I wrote The New Corner Office, the short

book that inspired this podcast, in approximately one month. I
have participated in National Novel Writing Month a few times,
which involves writing a fifty word draft in thirty days.
I write blog posts in thirty minutes or so, which
is about the same amount of time each of these
scripts take. I'm just used to this, so when my

agent mentioned that the deadline for my next book, Tranquility
by Tuesday, was going to be in October of two thous,
I did a double take. I had almost a year
to write a draft. It feels incredibly expansive. I have
started work on the book now, but it's kind of
fun to know that I can play around with ideas

and think about who I'd like to interview and how
to describe the research I'm doing. Sometimes time pressure inspires creativity,
as constraints do in general, but by removing most immediate
time pressure, I will experience a different sort of creativity,
one that's more about play rather than the focusing version.

I know a lot of people listening to this podcast
work in industries that are driven by deadlines, and there
is nothing wrong with that. But as long as you
know that you are aiming toward a long term goal,
giving yourself a little extra time on the way there
can be a fun way to make work more enjoyable.
Give yourself an extra week to play around with ideas,

Give yourself an extra week to talk with different people.
Give yourself an extra week for research. You can also
give yourself extra time by getting started right away so
you have time to come back to things. You can
also produce your project, sit on it for a while,
take a few days off, and then see it with

fresh eyes. The extra time will definitely make it better.
There are a few ways to build in this extra time.
If you are given a deadline that seems arbitrarily short,
ask for reasoning. Maybe there is a good explanation for
this timeline that you don't know about. But if not,

there is no harm in asking for a longer runway,
particularly if you are known as a person who always
delivers great work by your deadlines. Curiously, in many cases,
I find that people are setting their own tight deadlines
for no real reason. Here's one New Year's Day is

totally arbitrary. You do not have to decide on your
next job move by January one, or figure out the
new role you'd like to create at your organization by
January one, or write that white paper that is going
to make you a thought leader by January one. I mean, sure,
that is as good a deadline as any other. But

January four is a Monday. Like any other Monday, you
will probably be working, so you can keep working on
your big project. Then too. We all need time to think,
we need time to come up with ideas. Deadlines are focusing,
but two tight deadlines keep us from thinking about possibilities.

So work with deadlines for sure, but make sure they're
not tighter than they need to be, and make sure
you don't put things off until the last minute, thus
creating time pressure that didn't need to exist. Leaving time
to come back to things will make them better. When
we have time to play around and experiment and edit,

then time feels abundant. That sense of abundance helps us
tap into amazing creativity, so we create great things. Why
not give it a try. Extra time can be a
gift to yourself. In the meantime, This is Laura, thanks

for listening, and here's to sixty in the New Corner Office.
The New Corner Office is a production of I Heart Radio.
For more podcasts, visit the I Heart Radio app, Apple Podcasts,
or wherever you get your favorite shows. H
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