Why is Elon Always Late?

If someone has achieved “success” faster than you, it means they were better allocators of a single resource. That resource is time. If you master time, you will master material success.

I’m not going to talk about time management. Rather, about a concept called “Parkinson’s Law”. The wealthiest people on the planet use this law to expedite results. These people use this powerful productivity law to make progress at abnormally high speeds.

The term was first coined by Cyril Northcote Parkinson in an essay he wrote for the Economist in 1955. Parkinson’s law clarifies the relationship between task and time. The more time we get, the less motivated we remain to complete the task.

Here’s how it works: If you give yourself three days to do a project, it will take a full three days. We see this happen all the time. Now, let’s say you are assigned a task at work and given three weeks to complete it. You take your time and turn the finished product in on Day 21, as requested. You could have done it in a shorter time, but you filled that time with other things to do.

This is based on psychology. Parkinson’s law is based on the principle of self-interest; some people would maximize the time it took to accomplish a task or series of tasks in order to fill their workday. In the absence of reward, they would complete an assignment sooner rather than later.

You can use this psychological hack to your advantage. If you have more time to complete a task, your efforts will be less and vice-versa. Always schedule less time than needed when starting any project—it’s the philosophy of Elon Musk. He says, “Complete the task of 1 Year in 4 months and you will be able to achieve 4 times more than the person who completes that task in 1 Year.”

This law had an enormous impact on my life. It changed the way I built my real estate business. I compressed time to hit my goals.

I’ll leave you with this: Big goals and small goals are both hard to achieve. You should just make them big so it becomes pushing through the inevitable hard times. Get through them as quickly as possible. It’s ok to be messy. Just get it done.

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