Using Parkinson’s Law to Get More Done
Parkinson’s Law states “Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.”
That’s honestly the simplest terms possible to explain this principle, so I’m going to leave it as that.
Since I’m in Tamarindo, Costa Rica right now I decided to head to the top of the highest mountain here to film some videos. Man is it absolutely beautiful here. I’ve learned to surf, hiked the highest mountain here and have driven throughout the country. It’s simply an awesome place.
In my personal experiences, I’ve always been good at procrastinating… in fact, if you ask my mom what the first BIG word I learned, it was procrastinate…
but at that point it meant “when I didn’t go to bed when I was s’posed to”
The Parkinson’s Law at Work
But as I’ve grown I have come to recognize that however long I am given for a project, that’s about how long it’ll take me to finish. This is why I tend to give myself fake deadlines a few weeks or months before a project should be done at this point in my life.
I can subtly trick my brain to believing that I have less time to finish a project, thus making me finish it sooner.
If I gave myself 10 hours to accomplish a project I would use that full 10 hours… most of it fooling around, and then sometime getting to actually doing the work.
It’s just the way I work.
If I had 1 hour to finish a project, I would take everything that isn’t absolutely essential and completely get rid of it. It’s a way of finding what will actually give you the results and get the project done.
An activity for you….
For the next week, have a pen and paper and keep a journal of EVERYTHING that you do. Even if you are sitting at the computer watching goofy videos on YouTube. Write that down.
Write down how long you sleep each night.
Write down when you eat breakfast, lunch, dinner and any snacks you have.
By doing this, you will start to notice when you are actually getting stuff done and when you’re not accomplishing anything.
You need to then focus solely on doing those activities that provide results.
Thats it for this short lesson on parkinson’s principle.
I’m going to head to the beach to surf!