Don’t blame it on the sunshine, don’t blame it on the moonlight, don’t blame it on good times… and don’t blame it on the boogie! It’s always Murphy’s Law fault.
The thing is that whenever we see that the other queue moves faster or we drop a piece of toast and it lands butter side down, we can’t help but remembering his words:
Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.
Just like many other laws, the pessimists’ top law can also be applied to productivity, especially when it comes to work planning, time estimation and interruptions.
Murphy’s Law may have different interpretations within the scope of productivity. One of the most interesting is the one that Jordi Fortuny sums up as follows: any task we start will take longer than expected due to some unforeseen event or situation. For such reason, it is important to be able to foresee any possible drawback when organizing our work; otherwise, our whole planning could just go down the drain because of a simple interruption.
There are several factors that may alter what was planned: unexpected meetings or phone calls; not knowing how to perform the task we’re facing; partners or bosses asking for things at the last minute; unproductive days… Whenever you are organizing your work you should include an extra time margin in any task time estimation because, according to Murphy, you will need more than you expected to accomplish it.
Interruptions are your productivity’s greatest enemies. When you are focused working on something, some drawbacks will always appear along the way to stop you from going on with that task and this will make you waste your time and prevent you from keeping to your planning.
It is important for you to try to avoid them as much as you can but, according to Murphy’s Law, if you get rid of anything that can go wrong… something else will always come your way to make you waste your time. So you will have to be foresighted and add some ‘safety idle times’ so that the deviation in one task won’t affect the rest of your planning.
Don’t forget that the key is to know yourself. If you know how you work and when you are most productive, you will be able to plan things realistically.
Translation by Susana Castro.
Image: Mag Pole