Parkinson's Law

According to Parkinson’s law, “work expands to fill the time we allocate to it”. What it means is that if having too much time to do something is recipe for disaster (procrastination). This is because when we make a deadline for a task far away in the future, we think of doing it slowly in small steps. Whenever the thought of that task comes to our mind, we procrastinate because we know that we have a lot of time left to complete that task. The solution to above problem is to ask ourselves what the plan is for next 10 years and what should be done to achieve it in next 6 months. There are many ways we can do it. One of them is:

Artificial deadline: Give yourself an artificial deadline for completing a task. Now, you can think, “its an artificial deadline and only I created it, so why should I do it? I can always postpone it”. If this is the case then put a strong compulsion on yourself such as giving large sum of money to your friend and ask him use it for himself if you don’t finish this task on this artificial deadline.

Another benefit of artificial deadline is that you can identify problems well ahead of time that you would have faced at a later point of time if you didn’t make an artificial deadline.

Activity: Make a list of 3-4 long term tasks you want to do and ask yourself:

  1. What would you do if you only had half as long to do them?

  2. What would you do if you had to do it in next 24 hours?

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