Parkinson's law

One of the blog topics I thought worth spinning off from The 4-Hour Workweek was about Parkinson's law - that work expands to fill the time available.

Tim gave us some interesting anecdotes about how, when given time for a task (i.e. a deadline), we'll find ways to use all that time for a task, often increasing the complexity & importance of it unnecessarily.

I blogged about a similar topic in Are You Spending Your Time the Right Way?, where I specifically noted how people have the tendency to use the full 1hr meeting rather than cover the agenda topics efficiently and finish the meeting early.

It's something I've become more acutely aware of and started setting shorter time allocations for tasks in an attempt to drive increased effectiveness.

One of the tips Tim had for readers was to identify 'crutch' activities you use to avoid completing tasks and confront these head-on. One of mine , which has been significantly reduced over the years, is to switch from a task and check emails to see if something 'urgent' had come up that I could deal with instead. Again, Tim looks at the cost of 'switching' as one of the villains on our effective use of time.

I'm keen to hear how readers might handle this issue and what tactics you use to avoid wasting time on tasks.

There is a pretty interesting article here on the discipline of productivity:


posted by Lee Gale @ 9:50 AM,


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