Do You Ever Wonder Where All Your Time Goes?

First published in The Economist in 1955 Parkinson’s law is often referred to in the way in which we utilise our time.

“Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.”

I hadn’t even heard of it until earlier this week, but I’m very familiar with the context.

We all have challenges to face in our day to days lives whether or not we recognise them as such.  For me I can get terribly distracted and can procrastinate about procrastination and I never seem to learn.  I can put off doing something for a whole week until I simply have to do it and then it only takes 5 mins to do.  Yet if I’d started it on Monday I might still be finishing the task on Friday.

The solution for me is about focus and time management.  Two skills that I have in abundance I just sometimes choose to ignore them.

  1. Remove distractions – emails, social media, texts, and yes blogs! can take up so much time if allowed to cause a distraction.  I check mine first thing, last thing and when I allow myself a coffee break, closing down the windows on my laptop afterwards – I have found this gives me back much bigger time slots in my day.
  2. Challenging deadlines – I create a false urgency by setting myself deadlines  and rewarding myself time out when I achieve them.  Things are getting done much quicker and I’m getting more free time – its a win/win.


How do you get around Parkinson’s Law? Please share your ideas here:


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. blogbiscuit
    Jan 30, 2013 @ 20:47:54

    I have to close down fb to keep up with my blogs, I like to set myself a fair weather day for a very long walk as long as my partner is at the hobby office and not at his “pay the bills usual job” then I can go out for a walk not worrying about time to pick up the children from school all I have to think about is daylight hours, and I can be on my merry way. I will come home to a nice hot bath and shower then its up and out and i check fb for say half an your then its a drink by my side then I like to blog that days walking scenery and how I have felt before it leaves my head and I wont get around to it if I don’t do it that night after my walk and i like to be creative. The more the daylight hours and dryer weather the more I will be out finding new places to explore.


  2. Carolyn Trafford
    Jan 31, 2013 @ 17:23:04

    FB does have a habit of getting in the way!! What I really like about your comment blogbiscuit is that it implies a sense of freedom around your day where specific and relative time doesn’t matter – lovely – thankis for leaving your comment please pop back


  3. joelleharris
    Mar 06, 2013 @ 06:56:08

    OK I really will get on with writing those blog posts!
    I have just spent an hour on a bit more ‘research’ online for one of the ideas. Now I can’t find the photo I wanted to use….aargh!


  4. Carolyn Trafford
    Mar 06, 2013 @ 09:00:02

    My maths suggest you started work at 6 then! You’re giving yourself a very long day to fill. Good luck 🙂


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