I’m not a betting woman, but I’m willing to bet that Parkinson’s Law has affected more individuals — since pandemic life — than ever before.
Does this sound familiar to you?
You take a task that can be done in an hour, or maybe even two hours, and never devote specific time to it. So, you end up doing little bits of it all freaking day and night long.
Is it fair to say that more people are now working from home than at any time in our history?
Well, let’s look at that:
Imagine: We’re pre-pandemic. You probably worked out of the house for about 8 hours, or so, a day. Maybe you got to work in the morning and left in the early evening. And you did your work because you were actually there. By the time your work day was over, you would head home and do the personal things that mattered most.
Cut to: Pandemic life. Now, you’re working from home. Because you can probably get your tasks done whenever you want to… you’ve allowed time to expand.
And THAT is what Parkinson’s Law is all about.
Bottom line: however long we assign for work to get done, that’s how long it’s going to take.
We’ve all been there, pandemic or no pandemic, right?
If you have all term to finish a term paper, there’s a strong chance you’ll be pulling an all-nighter and start writing at 3:00 AM — on the day you have to turn it in!
When my husband tells me I’ve got three hours to pack for a vacation, you know I’ll be taking all three hours. But if he said,
“Chalene, you’ve got 25 minutes to get your stuff together!”
Then, I’d get all my luggage — with all accessories and makeup supplies in order — in exactly 25 minutes. Thank you very much.
How to Avoid Parkinson’s Law
We are grossly and sadly mistaken when we think that we have more freedom by completing a task at our leisure. A little bit now and a little bit later.
It’s actually the opposite of freedom.
When you practice Parkinson’s Law, it weighs on you and creates anxiety. Not to mention, a sense that you’re never done and always behind the ball.
Answer: We need specific timeframes to complete tasks. I implore you to give important activities a start time and an end time. And I want you to feel like it’s a deadline!
Welcome to, the Deadline Effect!
I recently dedicated an entire podcast to this topic — Harness The Power Of The Deadline Effect — and I think you’re going to LOVE it! Definitely check out The Chalene Show below:
And don’t forget to subscribe to TCS for weekly shows dedicated to you living your best, most authentic and productive life!