How to have more hours in the day using Parkinson’s law

How to have more hours in the day using Parkinson’s law
2020 is right around the corner, so it’s going to be important for you to take your time management skills to the next level! One of our biggest problems as human beings is that we procrastinate, we feel like we have all the time in the world yet, we’re “busy” doing nothing when it’s time to actually sit down and do some work.
Be honest, have you ever had a piece of school work or a task to complete in a week and you only start doing it hours before the deadline? Don’t worry, we’ve all been there, this is known as…

What is Parkinson’s law

“work expands so as to fill the time available for it’s completion”
The theory behind this is that, the time that is set to accomplish something, is used as the boundaries for how long it will take us to get it done. No matter whether you give yourself a day to finish a goal or an hour, you will end up using all of the time.
We spoke a bit about this on a recent blog which you can read by clicking here about how we waste so many years of our life because we try and avoid the true reality of death.
let’s take this for example, you’re a designer and a client has asked you to make them a bespoke armchair. If you give yourself a month to make it, that’s how long it will take. You will probably work on another design for someone, daydream a bit and make a few excuses to take your time. Whereas if you only give yourself a week to make it, you will strictly focus on that task alone.
So, the moral of the story is that the less time you give yourself to complete something, the quicker it will get done. We see this everywhere we go, have you ever been online shopping and next to the product there is a countdown timer saying that you have to buy it within that time or you will miss out? Well this is using the sales technique of urgency, which is used to make you impulsively invest in the product.
Don’t worry though, it’s not only used like this, you can use it in a good way as well. Many leading CEOs and entrepreneurs set unrealistic targets of when they will have accomplished something by, this makes them tunnel vision their focus on getting it done. Elon Musk is renowned for setting outlandish targets to the point “Elon time” was first coined.
It even plays a big role in how Tim Ferris organizers his day, which you can see in his book the four hour work week.
The term parkinsons law was first spoke about in a humorous article in the economist written by the person it was named after, Cyril Northcote Parkinson who was a navel historian, although it was wrote in a comical way, it quickly gained some traction due to it being a very practical tip to use in many fields of work to increase productivity. It was that good that Cyril became an author and wrote a whole book on it which you can buy here.
this is what Tim Ferris had to say about the technique in his book.
“parkinsons law dictates that a task will swell in perceived importance and complexity in relation to the time allotted for it’s completion.”
However, the idea of limiting the amount of time on one’s tasks to increase productivity has been around for a very long time. Robert Greene wrote this about Thomas Edison in his book mastery.
“Edison deliberately talked to the press about an idea before it was ready. This would create some publicity and excitement in the public. If he dropped the ball or let to much time pass, his reputation would suffer. So his mind would spark into high gear and make it happen.”
So, you want to learn how to use the Parkinson’s law to improve your time management skills so that you can have more hours in the day, no problem because that’s what we’ll be looking at now.
  1. To start off, you will want to write down a to-do list of all of the things that you need to get done, from house chores to writing a book on your phone or piece of paper, you can even do a brain dump to get everything out of your head.
  2. The next step is to organize these tasks on a priority basis, there are a few ways of doing this but my favorites are the 80/20 rule, which is when you choose the two most important tasks on your list and the Eisenhower matrix which is where you categorize your tasks on their importance and how urgently they need to be done which you can learn about here.
  3. After you have done this, place the tasks which you have chosen to start in to your schedule, but set a time limit of when you need to have completed a certain proportion of it. For example, if you have got to take the Christmas tree down, instead of saying you’ll do it “one day” put it in your schedule to have it back in the loft by the next hour.
If you don’t set deadlines for something to be completed, you best believe it won’t get done. This productivity hack will allow you to finish tasks quicker and ultimately have more time to do other things. Even if you end up not finishing what you set out to do this trick will help you stay accountable for your own success! Let me leave you with this quote.
“many things in life aren’t equal but, everyone gets the same 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We make time for what we truly want.”
Some of the links in this blog are affiliate links which means you can purchase the product and I will make a commission of it but IT WILL NOT be at an extra cost to you, any money I money I make through this is put towards the upkeep and improvement of this blog. Thank you in advance, Jake.
If you have any further questions, remarks or requests for what you would like to see more of, you can comment here on the blog, or message us on Instagram, Facebook or email.

4 comments

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