“Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.” – C. Northcote Parkinson
Parkinson’s Law is the theory that work complicates to fill the time allotted. Essentially if you are given two weeks to complete a project it’ll take you two weeks to complete it. But if you’re given the same project with only one week to complete it, it’ll only take you one week.
This is because humans love a sense of urgency and control. So if we have the ability to extend the work out we will. Plus, if we have the ability to create a sense of urgency at the end of a project and get a dopamine rush we will.
When you look into Parkinson’s Law and recognize it in your life you can get more done in less time. As well as learning how much time your tasks really require. It’s about being proactive and planning ahead with your work while realizing how urgent and how important something is.
Looking at the world you see a lot of busy people but most of the time they’re busy for no reason. The busyness is a cover for the reality of procrastination. Instead of focusing on what actually needs to get done and what should get done they’re answering unnecessary emails or going no tangents in meetings.
Productivity is key, burnout and overworking aren’t. It’s a balance that has to be found to live a healthy life and Parkinson’s Law can help you get there.