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PARKINSON’S LAW: An Incredibly Easy Method That Works For All

Work expands to fill the period available for its fulfillment. Parkinson’s Law insinuates that if it were an accurate observation, one would be able to assign a time limit of one minute to a task, and the task would become simple enough to complete within that minute.

What Is Parkinson's law?

Parkinson's law is the tendency for the amount of work required for something to increase so that it consumes any amount of time that may be allotted to it.

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The concept is often generalized to refer to the tendency for any available capacity in a given system to be used.

The implication is that no matter how extensive your resources are, the demands on them will grow to ensure they're depleted.

Parkinson's law has implications for many areas of business, including project management, time management, resource allocation, storage capacity planning, and requirements analysis.

Who introduced Parkinson’s Law?

Cyril Northcote Parkinson was a British naval historian who first introduced Parkinson’s Law in a satirical essay written for “The Economist” in 1955.

He then went on to write a book titled, Parkinson’s Law: The Pursuit of Progress. His story in the essay involves a woman whose sole task for the day is to send a postcard.

Because she has the entire day to complete this task, she spends an hour finding the card, half an hour finding her glasses, 90 minutes writing the card, and so forth until she fills her day.

His story is meant to explain how work expands to fill the time allotted. While Parkinson’s example may sound extreme, we’ve all experienced this on a smaller scale.

Studies suggest that when given a task, we think of how much time is available to complete the task instead of how much time we need. This mindset results in wasted time and inefficient workflows.

This is often why we, as humans, feel the need to take all the time we’re given to complete a task even if it doesn’t require that much time.

Few ways you can apply Parkinson’s Law to your life, get your to-do list checked off quicker, and spend less of the workday filling in time just to look busy.

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