Parkinson’s Law and Time Management

Do you’ve a moment to spare? Maybe a moment is all which you need to spare!

You will find two kinds of tasks which you engage in – issues which you need to do and issues which you wish to do. As a responsible individual, you’d like to total issues which you need to do prior to you begin on issues which you wish to do. Nevertheless, if all of your time is stuck in issues which you need to do, where will you discover time for the issues which you wish to do?

In the event you only do the issues which you need to, you merely exist. Only whenever you do issues which you wish to do you truly live. What can you do about it?

1 answer, championed by David Allen, will be the “Four D” approach to decreasing the tasks on your list:

Delete the unnecessary tasks;

Delegate what could be carried out by other people;

Defer the much less urgent tasks;

Do the rest.

Here is my answer: In the event you can total your “have-to” tasks in much less time than expected, you are able to use the time you save on issues which you wish to do. In other words, estimate just how much time you’ll need for any job, total the job rapidly, and use the time you save on some thing dear to your heart.

The greatest issue with this answer is Parkinson’s Law. Parkinson’s Law states, “Work expands so as to fill the time obtainable for its completion.” As soon as you set up an expectation, an estimate for the duration of the job, the estimate becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. The job will take the expected time.

I’ve put together 4 methods to overcome Parkinson’s Law.

1. Successfully Use “Wait” Time

You invest a big portion of time waiting – in doctors’/dentists’ offices, in queues at the post office, bank, supermarket or airport security, waiting for a meeting to begin or to be served at a restaurant, etc. On your job list or appointment list, identify possible wait opportunities. Likewise, identify tasks on your list which you might be able to total throughout any wait time. Put these together and you’ll successfully get two issues carried out at the exact same time.

2. Successfully Multitask

Multitasking, i.e. attempting to do much more than 1 factor at a time, is regarded as counter-productive. However, the human animal has learnt to walk and talk at the exact same time. When some action has been performed over and over once more and has been relegated to the “automatic” section of the brain (the cerebellum), it could be combined with other tasks. In other words, “thoughtless” tasks could be combined. Tasks that need thinking can’t be combined. As you make up your To-do list, identify tasks that will be carried out mechanically and strategy to combine compatible tasks. This “two-for-one” deal will decrease the items on your list.

three. Front-end Load the job

“Front-end loading” is my term for obtaining the heaviest (most substantial, riskiest, most complicated) component of your job carried out up-front. This reduces the burden, and also the momentum which you will reach will sustain you via the job. Success begets success, and early successes set the mood for higher achievements.

four. Set an Artificial Deadline

Carefully challenge your self to accomplish much more. Set a limit between 65% and 85% the original estimate as the new deadline, and, to ensure that you don’t treat this artificial deadline lightly, put about 25% much more items on your list and challenge your self to total every thing. Parkinson’s Law works in reverse – in the event you give your self much less time on any job, it’ll shrink to fit the obtainable time. Obviously, as in anything else, overdoing this may hurt you within the lengthy run. Know your capability and slowly push your limits.

Some of my customers have achieved substantial improvements in productivity by controlling Parkinson’s Law. It works, but demands 1 secret ingredient – you need to think inside your capability to total tasks in much less time than expected.