In the last blog post, we defined what Parkinson’s law is. Today we’re going to combat it in 2 quick steps.
Parkinson’s law is nothing more than an illusion, and it works because we give tasks/projects more time than they really require for their completion. Why? Because we think we need some leg room or buffer, just in case something unplanned happens.
If you assign a time limit of one minute to a task, the task would become simple enough to complete within that minute. (this is a bit of an exaggeration, but I just want to show you that Parkinson’s law truly applies). Because people are procrastinators by nature, we don’t become fully aware of how quickly some tasks can be completed.
Give yourself half the time allotted in step 1 to complete each task. You must complete it in half time – it’s your deadline.
Use instinctual human longing for a competition that fuels industries such as sports and gaming. Make it that you have to win against the clock. Strive to beat it as if it’s your rival. But make sure that the end result and the quality of work are not compromised.
By talking with people and according to my personal experience, this 2-step program will work 99% of the time if you dedicate yourself to it, focus only on the task at hand, and discard any excuses you have.
As you start with the steps above, maybe you will fail due to a misjudgment of time. Don’t let that discourage you. With practice, your prediction of the time needed to complete the task/project will become more accurate.
The easiest way to implement the steps above is to start with small tasks like emails or phone calls. If you usually need 10 or 20 minutes, reduce that time to 5. Or if you’re up for a challenge, try and do it in 2 minutes. Once you see this is possible, apply the steps to more complex tasks/projects. You can also divide tasks/projects into smaller increments, and allocate 10-20-30 minutes for each phase of the task.
Ingvar Kamprad, the founder of Ikea said:
If you allocate less time, you will work harder, vice versa.
Use the digital timer/countdown clock on your phone or computer to track your time. It will be easier than using a clock because it doesn’t involve extra addition or subtraction. I use Pomodoro technique.
You beat the Parkinson’s law in 2 steps.
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