Sometime you might have faced a situation where you need to finish some task by some date. You have some deadline to meet. You work day/night 24 hours a day and do all your effort but still you are not able to finish it on time. This can happen not only on your official work but in any other day to day task.
This can be a situation where you are chasing the impossible.
Some task can not be finished in by particular date even if you work all day and night. You must as a manager or lead or even a team member realize that if a work takes x hours it will take that time. You cannot increase your efficiency beyond some level. A rubber also can not be stretched beyond some limit.
You might have calculated the effort required to finish the task correctly( some time this also can be wrong). Assuming that you calculation is right in the first place but you are still not able to finish it.
This can be explained by the following example from Mathematics which I normally ask in interviews. The solution from the below question will explain it.
“You are traveling back home from office. You decide that you will travel at an average speed of 60 km/hour. At half the distance you realised that your average speed was 30 km/hour( may be because of traffic). At what speed you should travel your next half of the journey so that your average speed comes out to be 60 km/hour? ”
The answer to this is infinity which means it is not possible. With whatever speed you travel the second half ( 80, 90,120, speed of light…) you will not be able to attain total average speed of 60 km/hour.
Explanation – Consider the total distance as 60 km.( you can consider any value). Total time require to attain average speed is 1 hour ( Time= Distance/speed). Half distance i.e. 30 km is covered by speed of 30 km/h. i.e Time utilized = 30/30 = 1 hour. You have finished the time quota of 1 hour at the half the distance. Time left is 0 and you are chasing the impossible.
This is also what you encounter in your work i.e. Chasing the impossible. If you delay initially, sometime you will not be able to make it on time.