{Time management} Make Parkinson’s Law work for you

Parkinson’s Law states that work expands to fill the time available for its completion.

What does that mean?

– if you allow yourself one hour to clean your office, it’ll take one hour to get it clean.

– if you allow just 20 minutes to clean your office, it’ll take just 20 minutes to get it done.


If it does take you longer to do it, it will be very close to the allowed time.

Either way, you will still save time by allowing yourself a shorter time for a specific task.



My sparkly clean and tidy desk (January!) because I had just 15 minutes before we had to leave for the airport

I was travelling once when I suddenly couldn’t access my email. I was to meet a fellow professional organiser in Cape Town later that day so I really needed to access my emails since her address was saved in the emails.

This happened in the pre-iphone days.

Fortunately the hotel had a business centre with the usual exorbitant rates per 15 minutes of internet access. I was determined to only use 15 minutes so I bought a coupon, accessed my email, printed the directions and while I was in my account, quickly responded to and processed all my email. In 15 minutes!

Yes, in just 15 minutes.

I know that if I’d had my laptop, it probably would have taken me upwards of 30 minutes to process the same daily batch of email.

That’s Parkinson’s Law in action.

One more example:

I used to allow myself two hours to put together my weekly newsletter. One day I only had an hour so I told myself to simply focus and get it done.

I know you can guess what happened. I only took an hour.

Since I knew I could get it done, I then challenged myself to get it done in 45 minutes with an extra 15-minute buffer for checking spelling, links, and so on.

I saved myself an hour a week.

How can you make Parkinson’s Law work for you?

For July, I want to challenge you to apply Parkinson’s Law in 3 ways.

1. If you usually take an hour working through your emails, reduce that time to 45 minutes, set a timer and start responding. (This is exactly what I do).
2. If you usually take two hours to clean your house, set a timer and only allow one hour.
3. If you usually take one hour to sort through all the paper in your house, take just 30 minutes.

Are you up for the challenge?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...


  1. Thank you for this one… good tip! 🙂
    Love and Lollipops recently posted..How to make an Aircraft Carrier

Speak Your Mind


CommentLuv badge

WP2Social Auto Publish Powered By : XYZScripts.com