Parkinson’s Law

“Work expands to fill the time available” Parkinson’s Law. Or written another way by Horstman, “Work contracts to fit the time we give it”. Here is an example of a typical day for many workers.

10 am – You get given a task, and mentally think it will take 2 hours to complete.

Fired up with a new task, you will just have a cup of tea before you get going.

10:15 am – Check your FaceBook and Instagram while you have your tea.
Couple of things to reply to there. 
Tea’s gone cold now.

10:30 am – Right, one more tea then on with that task

10:40 am – Sit down to start a task. An email pops up you had better just deal with. Nothing major, but if you don’t reply immediately you’ll look like you are slacking.

11:00 am – Inbox cleared a bit now.

11:05 am – Task start time. Clear desk. A fresh sheet of paper. Sharpen pencil (metaphorically – who uses pencils nowadays! – Oh, what was that new pencil thing you saw on Twitter yesterday, looked interesting. Scans straight to Word.)

11:15 am – Magic pencil now on the birthday wish list. Task starts.

11:40 am – Phone rings. Urgent matter, need to pause the task and fix this. Have a cup of tea while sorting it out (multi-tasking, see!)

12:00 am – Lunch soon. Back to the task now.

12:30 pm – Lunch. No time to take a proper break – not even halfway through task yet. Grab a sandwich and work through lunch.

12:45 pm – Crumbs in the keyboard. How long have they been in there?

1 pm – Keyboard clean now. The task can resume. Re-read the brief as might have forgotten what the point of the task was.

2 pm – That was great. Really good. Task about 75% complete now. Starting to feel a bit afternoon-drowsy. Coffee to pick you up.

2:20 pm – Emails been pinging in over lunch. People wanting your opinion on their tasks. Delegating stuff to you. You’re busy enough. They need to manage their time better.

2:30 pm – Final strait now. Let’s get this task finished.

3 pm – Task finished.

3:05 pm – Maybe you should have done the task a different way 

3:10 pm – Re-do first half of task as the second half is much better quality

4 pm – Now first half is better than the second half, probably good to re-do that to match the good first half

5 pm – Task finished. Go home. Don’t think about task now. Done, completed.  A new task to do tomorrow

9 am – Re-do task after overnight epiphany

9:10 am – Just have a cup of tea first……


10 am – You get given a task, and mentally think it will take 2 hours to complete.

10:05 am – Set yourself a deadline of Noon to complete the task.

12 pm – Task complete

12:01 pm – Everything else

Set yourself a deadline. Do your task. Get on with your life.

We use simple principles like this at Storganise to create software to give you more time.

What you do with that time is up to you.

Check out our Business Improvement Package and our Sales Enhancement Package