Parkinson’s Law: How to avoid wasting time

Parkinson's Law: How to avoid wasting time

How do you approach your projects? Do you start them early or put them off until the deadline’s already lurking on you? If procrastination is a known concept in your life, you’re most likely experiencing Parkinson’s Law, which explains how people tend to use all the time that’s given to them.

So, how can you become the most effective version of yourself? If you look into Parkinson’s Law,  you’ll better understand how to increase your productivity and get more work done in less time. Luckily for you, we’ve already done the research. Below, we discuss how to overcome Parkinson’s Law and make time work in your favor.

More time = longer projects

You may have heard about a famous British historian – Cyril Northcote Parkinson. He gained recognition all around the globe thanks to his opening line for an article in The Economist. The mastermind said, “Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion’. In other words, the amount of time you give yourself to complete a specific task is the amount of time it will take you to complete it.

Let’s say you have a project’s deadline in two weeks. Although realistically, it doesn’t take as much time to complete it, according to the law, you’ll most likely finish the work after the two weeks have passed.

During his work, Parkinson had observed that people in his office were busy all day long, but only a few things were accomplished. The article by the British historian was published nearly 70 years ago. Since then, several studies have proven Parkinson’s Law to be accurate.



So, what can you do with this knowledge? Make your every day more productive! Here are Cloudberry’s best tips to overcome Parkinson’s Law.

Planner 2023

Set an end for your day

To be more efficient, you should set a time that marks the end of your work day. This way, you’ll be forced to complete your tasks within the timeframe instead of stretching out projects that could be done much more quickly. 

A big mistake is to tell yourself you can work late at night. As funny as it may sound, the best thing you can do for your productivity is to reduce your work hours.

Make up your own deadlines

Deadlines can add pressure and stress, but in small doses, these feelings are vital for a healthy life. That’s because stress motivates us to reach our goals and overcome our daily challenges. A good solution that won’t put too much pressure on you is self-imposed deadlines.

Since our egos hate breaking promises, you’ll be more motivated to work hard and meet the schedule you’ve set for yourself.

Planner 2023

Don’t forget to reward yourself.

Did you know that we – humans – are reward-oriented creatures? If we see a reward at the end of the road, it’s easier for us to reach our goals. This is greatly explained in Charles Dugg’s book The Power of Habit. The reward doesn’t have to be anything big or expensive. It can be as simple as a delicious cup of coffee or your favorite ice cream once you finish. 

Life is all about little pleasures, don’t rob yourself of them!

End notes

Parkinson’s Law doesn’t make our lives any easier. But with proper time management, there’s no mountain you can’t overcome. Befriend self-imposed deadlines, and don’t forget to schedule your tasks in your Cloudberry planner. This way, efficiency will come much easier.