Lately I have been playing around with a topic that I learned to increase a user’s productivity. The Law is called Parkinson’s Law. It basically states that “work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion”. This means if you have 3 weeks to complete a project, then it will take you 3 weeks to finish. What if we had only 1 week to do the same project? Then it would get done in 1 week.
I have been implementing this in my life and would like to explain how I have been by giving you some tips. This idea was stolen from Tim Ferriss’s 4 Hour Work Week. I think it would be a good idea to check that book out!
List Tasks Out Clearly
The first step here is planning. If you have not read my blog post on planning out your time and goals, please check it out here.
Without a plan, it will be hard to execute. First thing to do here is to define clearly what it is you must get done in the time period. This means to set a quantifiable goal that you know you must reach. My advice to you is to set the goal a little farther than you think you can get done. You will be surprised what you can do.
Estimate Productivity Work Time
This is where Parkinson’s Law comes in. Create a time period you think you can get the work done in. This can be used for a small task at hand, such as reading a 5 page chapter of a book, or even developing a 20 page website. The key point here: be aggressive with this time period, make it shorter than you think you can make it. You want to make it short this way you stay focused and work hard while you are in that focus.
Clear Out Distractions – Increase Productivity
How can you get work done without actually removing distractions from your life? This means place your phone in another room, turn off all notifications on your computer, and block Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or whatever else you can waste time these days. Sit in a confortable position, have all of your items lain out that you need to get the task done. The point of this step is to remove all distractions in order for the ultimate focus during this time period.
Work, Work, Work!
Now that you have a time period that you can work in complete focus (because you have no distractions AND all the materials you need in front of you), its time for you just destroy your work. Using this principle, I was able to write this blog post in about 10 minutes (After I had an outline of course…). That would normally take me about an hour to do. Just like that I gained 50 minutes back into my life.
Welcome to a Quick Introduction to Parkinson’s Law and how you can utilize it to make your life much, much more productive. You will realize that you can get things done in so much faster of a time. One thing that you may struggle with in the beginning is setting a good time period for the work you are doing. Do not be afraid, you will be better at estimating with time and practice. So JUST DO IT!
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