Have you ever had a time when you had a couple of hours to complete something? Let’s say two hours. And you just managed to knock out the magic result you needed just in time! And then another time, for a similar task, you had two weeks to do it. And guess what, you still end up sweating it a few hours before you have to deliver the results.
What’s with that! … I mean seriously! What’s with that!
Well enter onto the scene “Parkinson’s Law”. Parkinson’s Law states that “Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion”. Just for good measure, I’ll put that in BIG letters for you mamma!
“Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion”
Now there is a whole lot of detail behind this Parkinson’s Law, and you can read your socks off via the link provided on Wikipedia (Don’t you just love Wikipedia and other magical and informative places on the web). But the long and short of it is…. well what the statement says. Duh!
So if you give yourself a week to complete a task, then you’ll take a week (or so) to do it. If you allocated let’s say Five hours to complete the same task (and that was a reasonable time to do the task), you’d probably be able to deliver something that fitted the bill in that time.
So Time box things. Give a good hard look at how much time you need to do the job, and stick to it. That extra self-generated healthy pressure will help you perform and get the job done. You can spend the time you’ve saved, partying and playing the piano at your local bar… or whatever else rocks your boat.
So remember Parkinson’s Law…. “Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion”. Your time is precious, and we only have a limited supply of it. Use it wisely and well!