Daily Productive Sharing 221 - Why Do Deadlines Work?


One helpful tip per day:)

(The English version follows)

#todo #time_management


  1. 我们一天的可用时间是有限的;
  2. 我们手上的任务如同颗粒一般会占据所有的可用时间;
  3. 如果我们不设定死限,手上的任务就会膨胀,占据更多的时间;
  4. 当我们设定比较紧张的死限之后,我们就需要压缩任务的执行时间,从而在单位时间内完成更多的任务。



Shrinking your schedule is ironically the key to staying focused and effective

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When we are still studying, the temporary hold before the exam often works well; when we are studying for a PhD, we are at a loss in the face of three years; why? Deadlines play a very important role here. If we use the Brownian motion in physics to understand the deadlines, it can be as follows:

  1. we have a finite amount of time available in a day.
  2. the tasks we have on our hands take up all the available time like particles.
  3. if we do not set deadlines, the tasks at hand will expand and take up more time.
  4. when we set tighter deadlines, we need to compress the execution time of the tasks so that we can accomplish more tasks per unit of time.

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Shrinking your schedule is ironically the key to staying focused and effective

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individual particles in a gas will always spread out, endlessly distributing themselves equidistantly from each other, evenly filling the container they occupy.
Your calendar is the container/room. Your to-do list is the gas that spreads out into it.
Entrepreneur “Brownian Motion” is why deadlines work
It’s because a pressing deadline shrinks the container.
The solution isn’t to wish for more willpower to fight this effect… it’s to shrink the container that’s available.
Smaller container = less diffuse spreading-out of work. Their execution, in other words, is concentrated.
The best thing you can do to make yourself more productive… is make other plans.