The right amount of time

Eventually, the culture figures out how much time we’re supposed to spend on something. They call it the “right” amount. How long an education should take, or an RFP. How fast to deliver on an order. How long to shop around for a new car. How much time to spend with a patient. How much time should be devoted to learning a new skill or engaging with a new idea…

If you spend about the same amount of time as everyone else, you’re likely to get about the same amount of benefit.

There are two other choices, worth considering:

  1. Spend significantly more time than anyone else thinks is reasonable. Charge appropriately. Perhaps this will lead to an extraordinary outcome.
  2. Spend far less time than you’re supposed to, and invest that time into processes and alternatives and benefits that everyone else is overlooking.

Changes in the culture often happen when someone is gutsy enough to reorganize the time stack.