Parkinson’s Law: Deadline Reassurance
I hope you have had a marvellous weekend. I had planned on doing even more work, but I had such an eye twitch I had to do what I could offline instead:
- caught up on my InkTober drawings (before promptly falling behind again)
- made some notes on the soundtrack I wanted for my upcoming animated film
- thought strategically about what I may need to outsource in the near future
- went over the storyboards again
- And did some general worrying
I was worried about my deadlines: where they too unrealistic? What if I add on another week to the deadline? Plus, working offline was a nice change of pace which I enjoyed. But could I afford the “break”?
Perhaps this was why the habitgrowth.com post on the Parkinson’s Law supported by the Pomodoro technique resonated with me so much when I was scrolling through Twitter last night.
…Although, the Pomodoro technique is 25-minute sprints followed by a break, and mine has been more like 25 days sprints and then a “break”.
Parkinson’s Law: Deadlines and the Elasticity of Work
Parkinson’s Law states that:
work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion
If you say that something will take a week, even if it can be done in a day, it will take a week to complete.
Originally, this law was used to describe the growth of democracy within an organisation. However, it can be applied to a lot more than that.
Growth and work, for example, are not as intricately intertwined as one might think.
For example: Getting a lot of “busy” work done will probably not grow your business.
The focus for boosting your growth and productivity here is to instead of being task orientated, you should instead look to be time lead.
As Horstman’s corollary to Parkinson’s Law states:
Work contracts to fit in the time we give it
So in order to get something done in the most timely and focused manner, you absolutely should consider bringing the deadline forward.
For your tasks this week: write them down, give them an allotted time of what you think they should roughly take, and then immediately cut that time frame in half.
Reduce the time allowed by 50%.
While it is possible to, let’s use HabitGrowth.com’s example, reduce the time of writing 10 blog posts from a month to 2 weeks, 50 is very much unrealistic. (Unless they are short and largely consisting of photos, quotes etc.)
I think, I will leave my current schedule alone, as it is already absurdly ambitious.
My To-Do List this Week
In no particular order:
- Continue the InkTober 2018 challenge
- Finish the rough keys for the animated film
- Get a colour palette for the film
- Code checking and tweaking for the Secret Project
- Don’t panic
- Have fun with it 🙂
I really recommend you read HabitGrowth.com’s post on Parkinson’s Law. I have heard and read about it before, but sometimes it’s good to read it again. It’s a well-written article; somehow, it has helped me to not panic about the state of my deadlines. As such, I have greater confidence that I can get everything that I need to do, done.