This week I needed to dedicate myself to studying for a certification that I want to take, so I shortened my working hours. By the end of the week, I was super satisfied. I was more productive, more focused, didn’t waste time on unimportant things or unnecessary details… immediately I remembered Parkinson’s Law and smiled! This law is so true!!!!

Parkinson’s Law states that a task will expand in importance and complexity (perceptibly) in relation to the time allocated for its completion. In other words, work expands to fill the time available for its completion.

If you have 24 hours to complete a project, the deadline pressure forces you to focus on executing the task and you will only do what is essential. If you have a week to finish the same project, you will procrastinate… If you have 3 months, the project can become a monster.

Shorten your work time to limit yourself to important tasks.

In team management: set shorter deadlines as an incentive for focus and efficiency.

This week, to decide what I wanted to do within the limited time I had, I kept asking myself: “Can someone else do this for me?” If the answer was no: “What will happen if I don’t do this?” “If this is the only thing I accomplish today, will I be satisfied?” In practice: I didn’t waste time on trivial phone calls, didn’t get lost in social media, checked my email less frequently than usual, and in some situations, I set a deadline to complete a task (using http://e.ggtimer.com).

Use Parkinson’s Law to your advantage: set yourself a shorter deadline than the usual/expected deadline. Use the leftover time for other activities for yourself ;)