Six months ago, one of my rental property tenants burned down part of his home as he was moving out.
Whether it was intentional or not, we’ll never know — but the end result was the same: $60,000 of damage to the kitchen. (Thank God for insurance!)
Within 24 hours of the fire being put out, I called a local fire-restoration contractor to handle the rehab of the property. This week it’s finally getting finished… six months, almost to the day, after the fire.
If I were to ask you how long this restoration project took, you would likely say “six months.” However, did it really take six months? Or did it actually take far fewer days, spread out over a six-month span?
If you guessed the latter, you’d be correct. The actual work done to restore the home took about 20 days of actual work. Those 20 days, however, took place over six long months.
I tell you this story today not because I want to convince you never to buy rental propertiesbut because it perfectly illustrates something that has been stewing in my mind for quite some time; a business principle that, if applied to your life and business, will help you accomplish significantly more in drastically less time. I call it: Dead Space.
If you want to accomplish more in your life at a rate faster than you’ve ever imagined, you can. You have to kill the Dead Space. Here’s how.
Dead Space: the silent killer.
Most tasks in life are significantly easier than we’d like to believe. In fact, nearly every goal you have is really just made up a series of small decisions followed by short actions. However, it’s the in-between that consumes the most time. That’s the Dead Space.
- When it takes you three months to read a novel — did it really take three months? Or did it take three hours spread out over a three-month period?
- Or for those looking to write a book — does it really take two-years from conception to publishing or just a few hundred hours spread out over a two-year timeframe?
- Or for those looking to raise money for their startup — does it really take six months or a dozen meetings over that six month period?
When you break apart a large task, how many actual physical hours of work are needed to accomplish this task? Probably not a lot. So why do tasks take so much time?
Because of Dead Space. It’s all the waiting that lives between moments of action or decision.
Dead Space could manifest itself in numerous ways, such as fear, uncertainty, lack of focus, distractions, limiting beliefs, waiting on other people, or even physical restraints. It doesn’t matter what form this Dead Space takes, nor does it matter who caused it. The cause could be 100 percent your fault or 0 percent your fault — but if you want to accomplish significantly more in far less time, the solution is 100 percent on your shoulders.
Dead Space is the real reason you aren’t accomplishing your goals. It’s the real reason that the latest John Grisham novel is still sitting on your nightstand, why your half-written book manuscript is still sitting on your desk, why your startup is six months from running out of money.
So the simple truth to accomplishing more, faster is this: when you reduce the Dead Space, you reduce the time needed to accomplish your goal.
Dead Space is the reason why Parkinson’s law exists. Parkinson’s Law, if you are unfamiliar with it, is the adage that “work expands to the time allotted for its completion.” When you have less time to complete a task, you subconsciously decrease the Dead Space and knock it out quickly. When you have more time — you fill almost every moment.
Think of it: the last time you had a looming deadline, did you stop to check your Facebook every five minutes? Did you take a break to read the newspaper? Did you wait a week for a phone call back from your company’s legal department? Of course not! You got it done, no matter what it took.
So how do we reduce this Dead Space? It’s easier than you think.