Parkinson’s Law is not really a Law at all. What it is, is the adage that “work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion”. You can thank Cyril Northcote Parkinson for that little ditty.
In your life, Parkinson’s Law plays out like this:
Your manager forgot to give you an urgent request for a report. You now have two hours in which to complete it. You get it done in two hours. Phew!
The following week that same manager requests a different, though equally important and complex report. She gives you a week in which to get it done. It takes you a week to complete it.
You get the idea. Now let’s apply #Parkinson’s Law to your life.
Maybe you’re a young, healthy, recent college graduate and things are looking really good. No, you don’t love your career but, hey, they pay you well and you have a great title that will look good on your resumé. You have many decades in front of you to find a job you’re passionate about, in an industry you love. No need to rush things. So you don’t.
Maybe you’re a middle aged, relatively healthy, senior manager with a bit of a nest egg set aside. No, things aren’t bad at all. Yes, you keep telling yourself you’re going to innovate your industry with the start-up you’ve been planning for ten years, but there’s no urgency. You’re doing a great job just where you are, everyone respects you and you’ve got plenty of time to put those plans in place and start from scratch.
After all, Colonel Sanders didn’t get his chicken on until he was in his 60’s. No need to rush things. So you don’t.
Without a date or a deadline, what you’re thinking about doing is going to take as much time as you allocate to it. If you don’t define the time, the time will define you. As we get older we look at time differently— not at how much time we have left, but how little.
So what’s the antidote to Parkinson’s Law?
How do you stop #procrastinating, put down your excuses, and pick up your plan? How do you stop wasting all the time you think you have because hey, there’s always tomorrow? Until there isn’t.
Do it now. Today. Soon. NOW.
Set a date and tell everyone you know so you’ll be #accountable, or embarrassed that you weren’t. Create a strategy. Make plans. Take action. Take more action. Until your tomorrow is today and then you can plan the next great thing.
Either that or quit talking about what you’re going to do some day, because you really don’t know how much time you have left.
Tick-Tock. Tick-Tock. Tick-Tock.
Leave your COMMENTS below– I’d love to hear from you!
How do you fill up the time so you don’t end up doing the things that are very important to you? What’s on your urgent list? What’s one step, one action, one choice you can make today to get going?
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