Many of us would be familiar with the experience of cramming the night before our exams or rushing the day before to meet a deadline. After a lot of stress and anxiety, you finally finish the project and tell yourself, "Never again," and make promises that the next time, you will not leave the things until the last minute. Unfortunately, despite your best efforts, the cycle repeats itself. Have you ever wondered why such a thing keeps happening? Well, it is due to something called Parkinson's Law.
'Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion'.
Coined by Cyril Northcote Parkinson, a famous management theorist, Parkinson's Law posits that whatever task you'd set out to do, you will take the exact time needed for its completion. For example, if you give yourself 3 days to complete a task that can be done in 3 hours, you are more likely to finish it in 3 days rather than earlier. From a psychological standpoint, the task increases in complexity and you put it off until the urgency of the approaching deadline kick you into gear.
In other words, the more time you have to complete a task, the more likely you are to put it off. Moreover, you may experience stress because the task remains incomplete until the deadline approaches. Not only that, your productivity takes a dip because you could have moved on to other tasks but you are spending all this time on one task. Consequently, your productivity suffers.
Being aware of Parkinson's Law will help you to develop better time management skills and improve your productivity. With that, here is an infographic detailing 5 hacks you can use to beat Parkinson's Law.