The Toxicity of Time
“If only I had more time,” I find myself thinking day in and day out. The never ending list of ‘things to do’ continues to grow as the clock continues to tick.
I’ll start off my short monologue, with an experience I had working with a group earlier this year. Our task was simple; to hold a three hour event to launch the upcoming year. With four months to plan, we talked for hours about how we wanted to execute. We continued to build the event, thinking about how we wanted to bring people together, how we would create a community and each of us were very eager to get going. Despite each of our own energies — the event flopped, we had low attendance and our team we was ill prepared.
How can a team with four months, immeasurable talent and great ideas — execute poorly on a three hour long event? Here we arrive at the Toxicity of Time.
When a team has too much time they wander far into the vast expanse of their ideas. They speak about concepts, diverge in their thinking and since the deadline is always within the abstract future — the conversations remain abstract too. The key is to limit yourself and your team. With unlimited time, comes unlimited options that never ground your team to the constraints of reality.
Perhaps it is reality that we are trying to avoid. We don’t want to bring our ideas into the harsh world where they have the potential to fail. Yet the longer we keep ideas in the dream world, the more likely they are to disintegrate and never be implemented in the scenarios that they were designed for. The extra time leaves time to second guess but more importantly takes away from your time that can be spent else where.
Get to know your team, the project you need to execute and begin looking at how much time you need for your project. Perhaps after a bit of reevaluating, you will find the time that you’ve been looking for.