What Is Parkinson’s Law (And Why Do I Need It for My Business)?

What Is Parkinson's Law (And Why Do I Need It for My Business)?

What Is Parkinson’s Law (And Why Do I Need It for My Business)?

Do you ever wonder why your business is lagging behind? Maybe there are not enough customers, or you’re not making enough money. Or maybe you aren’t sure how to get more of it, either. The answer is often hidden in plain sight: the Law of Parkinson’s.

 

Parkinson’s Law, Defined

Parkinson’s Law is a humorous adage commonly attributed to Cyril Northcote Parkinson, a British historian and author. He wrote about bureaucratic management in The Economist magazine in 1955

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The actual quote was, “Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.” This means that if you give yourself only 10 minutes to do something, it will take 10 minutes. But if you give yourself an hour, it will take 60 minutes!

Parkinson’s Law has three basic variations that can come into play:

  • Parkinson’s Law of Triviality: giving disproportionate attention to trivial issues
  • Parkinson’s Law of Data: using a large amount of data, even when it may not be necessary or useful
  • Parkinson’s Law of Social Responsibility: over-emphasizing minor risks at the expense of strategically more important ones

 

How does Parkinson’s Law apply to your business? 

Parkinson’s Law is a useful tool for business leaders to use to make their companies more efficient. You can apply it to yourself, as an individual worker, or all the workers in your company (including managers and supervisors).

The key is to be aware of how every task works to take advantage of it and avoid being overwhelmed by too many tasks. It can help you manage your time and energy more effectively by focusing on what matters rather than becoming distracted by every minor issue.

If you don’t set up some system for managing your tasks and focus on what needs to be done each day, nothing will likely get done well enough or fast enough (or both). What happens is that you’re just moving from one thing on your list at random. 

For example, let’s say there are three things on your task list: write a blog post, send a meeting invite, and call a client. You could spend all day working on these tasks in any order or combination.

However, chances are they won’t get done until later today because more urgent things will pop up during the day. Instead, you have to block off time specifically for writing blog posts (12–1 PM), sending meeting invites (1–2 PM), and calling clients (2–3 PM).

That way, whenever something else comes up later in the day or week (and it will), it won’t derail your productivity progress.

 

How to use Parkinson’s Law to your advantage?

Start by ensuring a clear and concise goal before starting a project. It will help keep your focus on what matters most and ensure that nothing gets overlooked.

You must also prioritize tasks and focus on what is most important first. If there’s no time for everything, pick the most important things first so that they don’t get passed over by other tasks or projects later down the line.

Finally, don’t let Parkinson’s Law get in the way of your productivity by allowing emails or phone calls between tasks. Instead, write down a list of tasks you need to be accomplished for each day (or week) and cross them off once completed. 

You can move on to the next one until all tasks have been completed for the day or week!

 

Final Word

Parkinson’s Law is a useful tool for businesses of all types and sizes. By understanding how it works, you can find ways to make your business more efficient and save time and money. It will also help you avoid wasting time on unimportant tasks by focusing on what matters in your workday.

We offer a range of innovative solutions at Sum of All Numbers that can help you streamline your business operations and reduce costs. For more information, leave a message or call us at +(888) 564-5777.

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