In 1978, a Japanese graphic designer named Tomoyuki Ono grew a square watermelon.
Later that year, she displayed her creation in a gallery in Ginza, Tokyo.
People were amazed.
Someone asked her how she did it.
“Easy,” she said. “I grew it in a box.”
That is, Ono planted the watermelon in a cubic container made of glass and reinforced with steel. Then she left it alone. As the watermelon grew, it expanded to fit the frame of the space it was in.
When the watermelon ran out of space to grow, Ono removed it.
This principle also applies to your writing.
(Or any creative work for that matter.)
What you’re about to learn saves me hundreds of hours a year…
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It’s called Parkinson's Law, which states:
“Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.”
So if you give yourself 4 hours to write something (e.g., an article, a press release, a landing page, an email), it may very well take you all 4 hours to complete it.
But if you give yourself only an hour to write that same thing, it’ll take you an hour.
I promise you it will.
Do it soon.
Try writing something in half the time it usually takes you. Or go for broke and quarter your time limit.
Remember, this is an experiment. If you take it seriously — if you treat your countdown timer like a bomb that’s set to blow at the 0:00 mark — you’ll finish.
And maybe you’ll have a final draft. Or (more likely) you’ll have a first draft, something you can build on. Either way, you’ll be in a good place, much further along than when you started.
And you’ll get there in a fraction of the time because you’ll be forced to keep the work simple.
You won’t have time to complicate things. That’s the secret.
This exercise could launch the most productive period of your life.
It did for me, anyway.
Try it today.