One of my favorite business principles is Parkinson’s Law, which states:
“Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.“
What this means is that whatever time you allow yourself for work, you will find enough work to fill that time.
If you give yourself all day to get something done it will take all day.
If you allow yourself to work seven days a week you will ALWAYS find work to fill up those seven days… because work will expand to fill the time available for it’s completion.
This also means that work will CONTRACT to fit the time that you allow it.
If you give yourself an hour to get something done you will ‘light the fire’ and make it happen. (If you’ve ever had a deadline that seemed too tight but that you somehow pulled off – that’s Parkinson’s Law at work.)
If you decide you want to work less and commit to working a five day week, you may be surprised to find that you can get the SAME AMOUNT OF WORK done in less time.
Logically it doesn’t make sense right? How can you get MORE done when you are working LESS hours?
It’s a mix of a couple of things:
- Putting a container around your time forces you to be more PRODUCTIVE – we spend a surprising amount of time each day in our distractions and busy work. When we have a deadline it forces us to focus and get it done.
- It also shines a light on the things that shouldn’t be on your plate anymore and that should be delegated. If you know you are doing things in your business that you shouldn’t be doing anymore, applying Parkinson’s Law will help you identify the things that truly don’t need your attention.
When my client’s come to me saying they are ‘working 24/7 and can’t seem to get it all done’ Parkinson’s Law is the very first thing we look at. <– Putting a CONTAINER around how many hours they are making available for the work.
If you have NO container you will always have too much work to do (the work with EXPAND)
If you put a container around your time you will naturally be more productive (the work will CONTRACT)
Give it a try and let me know how it goes?