Articles, Blog

Parkinson’s Law – Manage Your Time More Effectively

August 18, 2019


Let me tell you a quick story. Back when I was in high school, our teacher
wanted us to write an essay. But because it was supposed to be a longer
paper, he gave us 1 whole month to finish it. I was a massive procrastinator back then and
I since the deadline was so far away, I didn’t even think about starting writing yet. Instead I decided my time was better spent
playing video games. Days passed and the deadline was coming closer
and closer, but I hadn’t written a single word. About 2 days before we had to turn in our
essay, I realized the deadline was so close that I might not be able to finish in time. This is when I went into full-on panic mode. With only 2 days left, I started writing with
pure focus. Finishing that paper became my number one
priority and everything else became secondary. I didn’t think about video games or anything
else. All of my focus was on that essay. Thankfully, in the end, I managed to finish
and turn in my paper in time. And to top it off, I also got a solid grade. Let me introduce you to the Parkinson’s Law. The law states this: “Work expands so as to
fill the time available for its completion.” This might sound a bit confusing, but let
me explain what it means If someone gives you one week to mow their
lawn, it will take you a whole week to do it. If they give you one month, it will take you
one month. And if they give you one year to do it, god
forbid, it will take you one whole year. Essentially the more time you have to complete
something, the longer it will take you to finish it. And the less time you have to complete your
goal, the more likely it is that you’ll complete it in proposed time. But if a goal or a task does not have a specific
deadline set, it will most likely never get done. Whenever we have something we want to complete,
whether it’s an essay for school, or mowing the lawn for someone, we make the mistake
of thinking that the more time we give ourselves to complete it, the better the end result
will be. However more often that not, most of that
time is spent procrastinating and only a small portion of it is spent on the thing we want
to achieve. If someone gave you one month to mow their
lawn, it would probably take you 29 days before you even began, simply because you know it
could be completed in one day. So that’s 29 days of procrastinating, because
you know you have more than enough time, before you get started. The same thing happened with my high school
essay. Most of the month was spent doing other things
and only a small portion of the time was spent on writing. If I was given a week instead of one month
to write that same paper, I would have finished it in one week. You can think of a deadline, as a fire. When the deadline is far away, that fire is
small. It doesn’t threaten your life yet, that’s
why you don’t extinguish it right away. But instead you focus on other things. However as the deadline gets closer and closer,
that fire gets bigger and bigger. What eventually happens is that the initially
small fire has gotten so big, that your whole house might burn down. And now you obviously don’t have a choice
but to extinguish it as fast as possible. So that becomes your primary focus. When your house is burning down you don’t
procrastinate and waste your time on unimportant things. You don’t check email for just 10 minutes. You don’t have a quick scroll though Twitter
or Instagram. Nor do you think about playing video games. No, those things that usually make up a huge
part of your procrastination, become secondary and unimportant. Instead, extinguishing that fire becomes your
number one priority. In other words, because your deadline is so
close, or because the fire is so big, you prioritize your tasks much better. You can’t afford to procrastinate or get lost
in unimportant details, like most people tend to do. Instead you’re fully focused on that fire. The Parkinson’s Law is important to be conscious
about, from the time management perspective. If you know something can be completed in
a day, don’t give yourself two days to finish it. You might think that giving yourself extra
time will get you better results. However as I’ve pointed out, most of the time
is wasted on unimportant things. And the end result of a shorter deadline is
actually often times better, because you’re not distracted and you have greater focus. However you should be reasonable with the
time frame of the deadlines. If you know something will take a week to
complete, don’t set the deadline for tomorrow. This may sound obvious, but it is something
people do when they first hear about the Parkinson’s Law. However you can still try to push the limits
of what is possible, and maybe you’ll find some shortcuts along the way. Worst case scenario is you get some work done,
but you need to give it a polish. Now, whether your deadline is too short or
too far away, it’s still better than no deadline at all. Remember, if there is no deadline, your goal
will probably never be achieved. So if you don’t have a fire that’s getting
bigger, make sure you create one. Thanks for watching. If you found this video helpful press that
like button. Also if you’d like to help support this channel,
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14 Comments

  • Reply UNLEASHING POTENTIAL - PSYCHOLOGY VIDEOS March 13, 2019 at 5:04 pm

    Great law 👍🏾

  • Reply Mindprovement - Self Esteem & Influence Channel March 13, 2019 at 5:08 pm

    If people start understanding this law, there might be fewer burnouts…

  • Reply Bharat Jain March 13, 2019 at 5:41 pm

    Great video thanks for the information it will really help

  • Reply عامر الشهراني March 14, 2019 at 7:37 am

    what a wonderful law ,, every time i saw a your videos i think about what the next one is going to talk about ,,, your topics are really powerful

  • Reply Fearless Dreams March 14, 2019 at 10:56 am

    What if we took a similar approach to life? Why do we spend our lives dreaming about retiring? Put a deadline on your happiness and let it be yesterday. 🙂 Great video!

  • Reply Jai Patel March 18, 2019 at 5:01 am

    Bro you are Awesome , keep doing bro

  • Reply BestAnimeShowsTV March 18, 2019 at 9:05 pm

    really powerful

  • Reply Quick Silver March 20, 2019 at 6:14 pm

    This is awesome

  • Reply The Campaign Of Peerless Kent April 21, 2019 at 1:47 am

    Wow……I'm putting this into play…..now

  • Reply enerZetics April 21, 2019 at 7:31 am

    great explanation bro
    I totally clear the whole concept but please tell me how can we decrease the time of deadlines
    because we actually know that our deadline is too far so we procrastinate so please suggest a method to decrease the time of deadline.

  • Reply govind rahul April 21, 2019 at 2:34 pm

    great explanation bro !!!

  • Reply Thobeka Mhlongo May 6, 2019 at 3:45 am

    You're truly a master teacher, thank you for this!!

  • Reply Payel Mondal June 28, 2019 at 12:43 am

    so nice vdo💯👍

  • Reply Gabriel Sanchez August 11, 2019 at 11:39 am

    In medical school, I handed in my assessments 1-2 months before they were due. I couldn't accept being the type of person who is cramming a project days before it is due. Still apply the rule and I get to work on a lot of other projects of my own choosing

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