Get more free time by using Parkinson’s Law!

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Parkinson’s Law dictates that a task will swell in perceived importance and complexity in relation to the time allotted to its completion.

We work on things with a given deadline, but if we have no deadline we will take up all sorts of time wasting it.

Example—Someone who has a leisure day with no deadlines can spend the whole day writing an easy college essay that is due the next day.  This essay should take no more than one hour, but lets see what happens…

The person wakes up slow, makes coffee and eats, showers, and 1-2 hours is gone.  They look at what they have to do for a few minutes then get distracted with social media and surfing the web for an hour.  Decide to watch Netflix for an hour or two, and the day is almost evening..

..They open up their paper and work on it for about 5 minutes before getting distracted and going back to checking out social media.  This cycle continues for hours until they finally begin and finish the paper around midnight.  The paper would have only taken at most an hour to finish, but this person believed they did not need to finish it first thing in the morning so they took all day to do it.  They did not have a specific deadline for the paper!

This is similar to a typical 9-5 workday where many people babble their days away with coworkers in pointless conversation.  There have been studies done about how much people actually work throughout the day at their 9-5 jobs and the average does actual work-related tasks about half of the time.

Useless meetings, lunch and water breaks, surfing the web and other distracting things take them away from “what they should be doing.”  And if their bosses allow it, I would do it too!  If a boss gives an employee a week to do something, that person will take the full week to lazily do that task, when it could be done in a much shorter time if given a shorter deadline. Check cartoon below↓↓↓

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“Work expands to fill the time available for its completion.”  I can’t say it enough.

By assigning the right amount go time to a task, we gain back more time and the task will reduce in complexity to its natural state.

Parkinson’s Law works because people give tasks longer than they really need, for different reasons, because they have an inflated idea of how long the task will take to complete.  **You can’t realize how quickly some tasks can be completed until you test this principle.

Work smarter, not harder…when most people are working harder and not smarter.

A practical way for you to complete goals/tasks faster:

  • Make a list of your tasks for the day, week, month, etc.  and divide them up by the amount of time you think it will take to complete them.  Then write down half of that time that you first gave yourself to complete each task!  Make sure you view your deadlines just as crucial as you would if completing it for a boss.
  • Stop checking your phone and email every 15 minutes and take 45-60 minutes of focused time to only work on your main task.

When you begin applying Parkinson’s Law to your life and your tasks, you will begin to be more productive than you’ve ever imagined.

Please share and comment, letting me know your thoughts and how Parkinson’s Law has helped you!

10 Best Tips from Tim Ferriss

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If you are looking to escape your 9-5 job, you came to the right place.

What I’m going to share with you will help you on your entrepreneurial journey; no matter if you are just beginning or have “entrepreneured” for years.

Let these 10 insights from Tim Ferriss be a guide to the good life:

1. “Slow Dance: Have you ever watched kids, On a merry-go-round? Or listened to the rain, Slapping on the ground? Ever followed a butterfly’s erratic flight? Or gazed at the sun into the fading night? You better slow down. Don’t dance too fast. Time is short. The music won’t last. Do you run through each day, On the fly? When you ask: How are you? Do you hear the reply? When the day is done, do you lie in your bed, With the next hundred chores, Running through your head? You’d better slow down, Don’t dance too fast. Time is short, The music won’t last. Ever told your child we’ll do it tomorrow? And in your haste, Not see his sorrow? Ever lost touch, Let a good friendship die, Cause you never had time, To call and say Hi? You’d better slow down. Don’t dance so fast. Time is short. The music won’t last. When you run so fast to get somewhere, You miss half the fun of getting there. When you worry and hurry through your day, It is like an unopened gift thrown away. Life is not a race. Do take it slower. Hear the music, Before the song is over.” — This may have been written by David Weatherford but I first heard it from Tim Ferriss.

2. “For all of the most important things, the timing always sucks. Waiting for a good time to quit your job? The stars will never align and the traffic lights of life will never all be green at the same time. The universe doesn’t conspire against you, but it doesn’t go out of its way to line up the pins either. Conditions are never perfect. “Someday” is a disease that will take your dreams to the grave with you. Pro and con lists are just as bad. If it’s important to you and you want to do it “eventually,” just do it and correct course along the way.”

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3. “But you are the average of the five people you associate with most, so do not underestimate the effects of your pessimistic, unambitious, or disorganized friends. If someone isn’t making you stronger, they’re making you weaker.”

4. “A person’s success in life can usually be measured by the number of uncomfortable conversations he or she is willing to have.”

5. “If you are insecure, guess what? The rest of the world is, too. Do not overestimate the competition and underestimate yourself. You are better than you think.”

6. “To enjoy life, you don’t need fancy nonsense, but you do need to control your time and realize that most things just aren’t as serious as you make them out to be.”

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7. “It’s lonely at the top. Ninety-nine percent of people in the world are convinced they are incapable of achieving great things, so they aim for the mediocre. The level of competition is thus fiercest for ‘realistic’ goals, paradoxically making them the most time and energy-consuming.”

8. “If you let pride stop you, you will hate life.”

9. “Role models who push us to exceed our limits, physical training that removes our spare tires, and risks that expand our sphere of comfortable action are all examples of eustress—stress that is healthful and the stimulus for growth.”

10. “People are fond of using the it’s not what you know, it’s who you know adage as an excuse for inaction, as if all successful people are born with powerful friends. Nonsense.”

Read these, and then read them again. These are the 10 best insights from Tim Ferriss. Please leave a comment adding additional insights from Tim or any from yourself that you have found helpful!

An Addition: Tim’s 5 favorite books include:

1) Moral Letters to Lucilus by Seneca the Younger

2) Surely you’re joking, Mr. Feynman by Richard Feynman

3) Zorba the Greek by Nikos Kazantzakis

4) Dune by Frank Herbert

5) The Effective Executor by Peter F. Drucker

I wish the best for you as you journey toward the life you desire.