When time is running out, we work harder…

time is important to talent

Work like you have 2 minutes to finish the task

I took a class in graduate school that taught me basic, but solid work advice about the importance of time.

We had a team project and were given 48 hours to complete the project. For me, 48 hours seemed like an eternity.

I then realized it wasn’t...after aligning on what we needed to do, which ended up being 24 hours of bickering, it was time to focus and work. No time for anything else, just completing the project.

The work involved doing several office-like tasks like going to the store, calling business owners, researching and reading and writing.

When time was almost up, about 2 hours before our deadline, that's when we worked hard. The 6 of us finally got into a rhythm cramming ourselves into a small conference room and getting down to business. In no time, we were ready to present our project.

What turned out to be the final presentation wasn’t truly the assignment. Our Professor didn’t care how or what we presented on. The purpose of the project was to notice how time pressure changes our ability to work hard and get things done. When given 48 hours to do something, we take the entire 48 hours but really don’t do much work until the last 2 hours.

Do not waste time on the clock. Drama is a distraction. Work like there is 2 minutes left on the clock.

What does this have to do with hiring? Well...Hire people who minimize drama and just do the work. You will grow faster, work will happen and you can do away with trust falls or ropes courses.

PS - It shouldn’t take a graduate course to teach a grown up about time BUT the topic of “time” is important for any profession.