Think that this law can not only help you improve your efficiency at an individual level, but that its principles are also applicable to teams.
What is the Parkinson’s Law?
Let’s take an example that helps us understand it better. It is 9 in the morning and we are given a task that we must deliver at the end of the day, at 6 in the afternoon. We dedicate all day to make it, and when the deadline arrives, we deliver it. However, it is likely that if we had been given a deadline of 2 in the afternoon, we would have finished it anyway, obtaining quite similar results.
This is where the Parkinson’s Law applies: it took us 9 hours to complete the task because it was the time we had available, not because it was really necessary.
The author of the Parkinson’s Act suggested that this is because, unwittingly, the tasks seem to us more or less complex depending on the time limit we assign them.
How to use the Parkinson’s Law to our advantage?
Try reducing your deadline for completing tasks. For example, if you normally take an hour to finish a project, try to set a 50-minute deadline.
Then, try to finish what you have to do against the clock. It won’t seem easy at first, but you’ll be surprised to see what you’re capable of if you manage a little extra pressure. Your mind evades distractions and is more focused to finish sooner.
2) Avoid falling into perfectionism
It is not always easy to end a task. There’s always something we can do better, right?
Many times we take twice as long to finish a task because we are constantly tweaking small details to make it perfect. You must forget that; it never will be. All you’ll get is wasting time on things that add very little value.
If you suffer from this problem, try to define precisely the purpose of your assignment before starting it. Once you fulfill your purpose, you’ll know it’s time to end it.
3) Create incentives to finish soon
One of the reasons why the Parkinson’s Law is almost always enforced in many organizations is because people rarely have incentives to finish their tasks early.
The effort is often not rewarded, since it is established a culture in which the simple presence in the office prevails over the desire to do things well and in a short time.
Create incentives that are worth the time. Leave the office early, have more time to relax, or dedicate your free time to things that make you enjoy. This will give you good reasons to be fully focused on work, and be as productive as possible.
The Parkinson’s Law, along with the 80/20 rule, has been a real revolution for many people. Both can help us greatly to increase our personal productivity.
If you want to know more about the 80/20 rule you can not miss our article The 80/20 rule in the world of human resources.
And you: What do you do to be more productive in your day to day? Had you applied the Parkinson’s Law to your work routine?
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