What is Parkinson’s Law? Exploring Ways To Overcome

Last Update on October 20, 2022 : Published on October 25, 2022
Parkinson's Law

Parkinson’s law is something that we all have experienced. You’ll remember those written assignments that we had in schools and colleges? I would always neglect those (even if I had time) in the beginning and then struggle to complete them at the last moment.

If you ever did the same with your tasks and assignments too, my dear friend, you have also experienced Parkinson’s law. Parkinson’s law states that whenever we have a good amount of time to finish a task, we either overcomplicate it or leave it for the last minute.

Parkinson’s law does not stop just there. If this becomes a habit, Parkinson’s law can aid in developing procrastination and poor time management skills. Both these maladaptive behaviors can increase the level of stress, worry, and anxiety. You can also end up feeling burnout all the time.

That’s why, today we are going to explore what Parkinson’s law is, what it does to you and how you can avoid Parkinson’s law…

What Does Parkinson’s Law Say?

Parkinson’s-Law

In simple words, Parkinson’s law says that when one has more than enough time for a task they over expand and overcomplicate that task. So, if you are experiencing Parkinson’s law, you will either turn a simple task into a complicated one or just leave the whole thing for when it’s due.

For example, your Dad has planned to visit you next week. Before he arrives you have to clean the car or else he’s going to be very angry. Now if you are functioning through Parkinson’s law you can be doing two things.

In the first case scenario, you’ll leave the cleaning for some other day and finally end up cleaning the car 1 hour before your dad’s arrival. In the second case scenario, you begin cleaning the car but you see scratches, dents, and some other problems with it. You end up sending the car for a complete makeover instead of simply washing it.

In both cases, you think you have a lot of time so you either procrastinate or over complicate a simple task. That’s what Parkinson’s law is all about. It’s a combination of procrastination and poor time management skills.

How To Avoid Parkinson’s Law From Decreasing Your Efficacy?

As I said earlier, people who get influenced by Parkinson’s law are most likely to engage in procrastination and poor time management. Such habits can easily make you feel stressed and overwhelmed from time to time. If you have fallen victim to Parkinson’s law, there are a few things you can do.

5 things to do to avoid falling prey to Parkinson’s Law;

how-to-avoid-Parkinson's-law

1.Always have a plan

When I say this, I mean you should have a plan A as well as a plan B. when you are planning and dividing your work, keep the time and amount of work in mind. Plan strategically! Make a list of things that need to be done to complete a particular task. While planning tries to keep the focus on what is the current requirement and how long (according to you) it should take.

2.Have your deadlines

This trick works best for me. All you have to do is create your deadlines (they should of course be before your actual due date). While you plan your tasks, you get a rough time of how much time it needs. So, begin working on your tasks according to the deadlines you’ve set for yourself. This way you’ll be able to save time and not feel overworked at the last moment.

3. Timeboxing

Timeboxing is a time management technique that is often used to reduce procrastination. It is very similar to having your deadlines. But in time boxing you put yourself in a time constraint as a challenge so that you can complete your tasks without wasting time procrastinating. It’s like a game that you can play, put yourself in a timebox and do your best to finish it in that time.

4. Pomodoro Technique

This is another effective time management technique that can help you overcome the consequences of Parkinson’s law. The Pomodoro technique requires you to take short and frequent breaks while completing a last. It is said to increase your focus and reduce procrastination. Here’s a complete guide for the Pomodoro technique!

5. Use a task management tool

If you can’t keep a track of your tasks or mind it is difficult to manage your time, invest in a task management tool. You can use various things like a task management diary or a calendar or some online application that can help you break your tasks down and help you manage your time.

That’s All Folks!

I hope now you know what Parkinson’s law states and what it does to you. We all fall prey to Parkinson’s law time and again. The only way to overcome Parkinson’s law is to recognize it and take appropriate action to stop Parkinson’s law to decrease your productivity and efficacy.

Thanks for reading.

Take care and stay safe.

About The Author

Kirti Bhati

I am an English literature (major) and psychology (minor) graduate from St. Bede’s College, Shimla. Postgraduate in Clinical psychology from IIS University, Jaipur. She has published a Research paper on Music therapy in the military population and Workplace stress in a national seminar conducted by Fortis hospital (gurugram) and international seminar conducted by St. Bede’s College, Shimla, Respectively. Authored a dissertation work on ‘effect of social media addiction on the mental and physical well-being in adolescents’ Currently working at calm sage as a writer.

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