Parkinson’s Law

Parkinson's Law

One of most useful Behavioral Laws you need to know and apply in your business is Parkinson’s Law.

Parkinson’s Law goes like this:

“Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion”.

Differently put: the more time we have at our disposal to finish a job, the more we tend to delay it until the last minute.

That applies for time as well as for money. The more money we get, the higher goes our expenditure.

This law was first mentione by the British naval historian and author  Cyril Northcote Parkinson in 1955.

What makes this law useful in business?

Parkinson’s law is important when it comes to time management and efficiency for example. Most managers when allocating time to their projects and team members fall into the trap of starting by setting the deadlines first saying things like: “We still have a month to do this”, “the meeting is in three months from now”, “The contact ends in one year”.

Doing it that way, they get somehow relaxed and relieved from that stress of starting working on them now, shifting their focus to other things… And when time is up and having their backs to the wall, they just rush up things in an inefficient way.

It is better therefore to go the other way around and invert the process by first starting  with a mind-mapping of all the tasks to do within a project; second setting a timeline for each task; third sequencing and scheduling them using the many Project Management Software available out there.

Same way, same logic when it comes to money. When launching a business don’t start by think of the amount of money you already have in hand and can invest. If you do so you are at the risk of spending it all. Think first instead of your project needs, set a budget and stick to it.

Don’t be fooled by the calendar. There are only as many days in the year as you make use of. One man gets only a week’s value out of a year while another man gets a full year’s value out of a week.” -Charles Richards-

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