Workplace Hack: The 30 Second Test

Productivity is not the same as busyness. In fact, the most productive people aren’t usually rushing around, multitasking and generally getting stressed out about having too much on their plate.

Unfortunately, most of us do have a lot on our plates, with to-do lists as long as our arms and there always seems to be another deadline just around the corner.

Digital marketer, Mohul Ghosh, suggests using the 30 second test to identify what’s really important and eliminate the junk from your life…

“Take a blank page and a pen and bring out your timer, and set it to 30 seconds. Now within those 30 seconds, write down the most important goals of your life.”

According to Ghosh, most people only identify around 3-4 goals within those 30 seconds.

Is 30 seconds really enough time? According the Ghosh, Parkinson’s Law suggests it is…

“Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion” – Parkinson’s Law

We could spend hours, days, weeks or months thinking about our life goals, but condensing this into just 30 seconds, in theory, forces us to come up with answers quickly, without dwelling on details.

To follow this workplace hack, set your timer for 30 seconds and see what goals you come up with in that time. Try using the 30 second test for more specific groups of goals such as work in general, specific work-related projects, your health and fitness or your personal or business relationships.

Have you tried the 30 second test? Share your experiences in the comments.


This hack is part of a series of weekly workplace hacks that teaches you about collaboration, productivity and time saving tips. Published every Wednesday.

Photo Credit: pj_vanf via Compfight cc