If you work in projects like I do, you may have experienced that project-leaders (or the guy above them) often set an end-date for the project before they ask you how long it will take to finish the product.
In my first projects I thought how stupid this behavior would be. In the meantime I think I got the idea behind it. They take advantage of a thing I call the “available-time-phenomenon” – things often take exactly the amount of time that is available for them.
If you are male and you have a girlfriend and/or wife which always spends at least one hour in the bathroom before you can take her somewhere, try this experiment:
Promise her an expensive handbag if she manages to do a perfect makeup and hairdo in 15 minutes and see what happens (will not work on Hippy-women, but these do not need one hour in the bathroom in the first place 😉 ).
The expected outcome of this is that you will see a perfectly styled woman. After 15 minutes! How could this be possible? Available-time-phenomenon!
If we have a limited time for a certain task, we focus on what is important. We do not slack, we do not mind distractions. Maybe we even reduce our claim to perfection (here we have a strong parallel to what I wrote about the Pareto principle before).
So how can we let the available-time-phenomenon play for us? Try to set time frames for your tasks. Start with “not so important” stuff. Doing it with things which are important would be too hard in the beginning – we tend to grant important stuff to overrun their initial planned time-budget. Good luck!
In case you still wonder how to have a baby in one month: You need to impregnate nine women 😀
You can see there are problems which the available-time-phenomenon cannot solve. It will also not work if you set the time frame to tight.