Parkinson’s Law - Deepstash

Parkinson’s Law

It is a commonplace observation that work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.” British naval historian and author Cyril Northcote Parkinson wrote that opening line for an essay in The Economist in 1955, but the concept known as ‘Parkinson’s Law’ still lives on today.

In his somewhat satirical essay Parkinson uses the example of an elderly lady writing a postcard to her niece. Since she has nothing else to do with her time, the otherwise simple task takes up her entire day.

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“An idea is something that won’t work unless you do.” - Thomas A. Edison

A British historian famously wrote that work expands to fill available time – but what was he actually saying about inefficiency?

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Parkinson’s law

“Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion,” the English humorist and historian Parkinson wrote in 1955.

And it doesn’t apply only to work. It applies to everything that needs doing. 

Set an ending time for tasks

Parkinson’s second law: Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.

Setting a micro deadline for daily tasks holds your brain accountable to the tick of the clock.

Why less is more

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