Parkinson’s Law

“It is a commonplace observation that work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.” British naval historian and author Cyril Northcote Parkinson wrote that opening line for an essay in The Economist in 1955, but the concept known as ‘

’ still lives on today.

How many times have you heard people say they work well under a tight deadline? Without time constraints in place one task can drag on all day.

If you put time limits on any given task you will increase the speed at which you work to get it done.

When people sit down to do something, they’ll put in a lot of effort initially. At some point there’s going to be diminishing returns on extra effort. To optimise productivity, you need to understand when your attention span starts to wane.

For me personally, blocks of 45 minutes are extremely effective. I block out everything else during this time. If I do this four or five times a day, it’s often more productive than 10 hours sat at my desk, where I can get pulled in 50 different directions.

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