Would you like to get more done in less time? Want to boost profits in your business, get promoted quicker of be a stress free parent? Then beware of Parkinson.
“Parkinson’s Law” states that “work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion”. Or in other words, we always take as much time as is given to do a job. For example, if your boss gives you a week to complete a project, it will take you a week. You would normally do most of the work for that on the last day too! If your boss gave you two weeks to complete the same project, guess what? It would take you two weeks to do (and most of it would get done in the last 2 days).
I remember when I first started writing this column and was given my deadline for publication. I had an article to write and sat down in the morning to write it. I needed inspiration, so I walked to the shops to get a newspaper, food and drink then read the newspaper – one hour gone!
I thought for a while and jotted a few ideas down, that took another hour. Decided I could have better ideas and started again, one more hour. By this time it was time for some lunch and then a walk after to get some fresh air, another hour and a half had gone by. I then spent half the afternoon writing the article, before completely rewriting it in 20 minutes just before deadline. It had taken me all day to do something that now takes me 20 minutes. I can only look back and imagine what else I could have achieved if I’d been more efficient.
If this sounds like you there are a couple of quick and easy things you can do to get more done or create more time for you.
First, stretch yourself. If you think it will take you an hour to do a piece of work, give yourself 45 minutes. When you move your deadlines closer you can achieve amazing things. How many times have you managed to complete a task that you’ve been putting off all day in the 15 minutes before deadline?
Now, make a list of tasks you suspect you could do quicker, set some tight deadlines and go for it. The more you practice, the better you’ll be!