William Liao

June 25, 2021

36 hours and 1 important thing

36 hours ago my team received a major assignment. 

Major in the sense completing it would result in significant progress in our work. 

If you asked me 36 hours ago how long I thought it was going to take for us complete this major assignment, I’d offer an estimation of 1.5 to 2 weeks. 

The problem is we didn’t have 1.5 to 2 weeks — the assignment was due tonight. 

Instead of panicking, we focused on effective action: we rescheduled meetings, dropped what we could, and committed the last 36 hours to this one assignment. 

We just finished. 

Here’s what I learned: 

  1. Trying to do a lot of great things at once is a trap. You will make much more progress by focusing on completing 1 thing at a time. 
  2. And with said focus, most things can be done within 48 hours. 

I’m not advocating for working weekends or evenings, but there are undoubtedly occasions where a temporary surge in effort makes sense. 

And it’s in these moments of extreme focus & effort where you realize what you and your team are truly capable of.