Business Productivity: Parkinson's Law



You know it’s important to set goals for yourself and to work to achieve those goals. The problem is that you may have been working toward the same things for weeks, months, or even years. It’s not at all uncommon for me to hear that someone has been trying to start or succeed with a web business but hasn’t made any real progress over the course of several years.

If that strikes close to home for you, know that you’re not alone. For a variety of reasons, I didn’t find true success in online business right away either. Mindset has a lot to do with it, along with time management.

A huge part of the problem for many people has to do with a lack of deadline when working for oneself. I fully realize that even hearing the word “deadline” might make you cringe. You’re running your own business so you don’t have to deal with deadlines, and now I’m telling you that you need them? Crazy, right?

Not so crazy after all. And I think once you start to place deadlines on your work and your goals, you’ll finally start to see the success you deserve to see. And you absolutely do deserve to find success. You work hard, you’re intelligent, and you deserve to live the life you want to live. Start making use of deadlines and things can start to happen for you.

In the title, I’ve mentioned something called Parkinson’s Law. This law isn’t really known or understood by many people, except for those who’ve spent time studying mindset and time management. That’s a shame, because it can really clear some things up for you. It’s freeing to understand this law and I think you’ll immediately see that it applies to you.

Parkinson’s Law was originally published in The Economist in 1955. It states: “Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.”

Basically, you’re driven to complete a task within whatever time you’ve allotted for it.

If you allow yourself infinite time by not setting a deadline, it most likely will never get done.

Let’s look at some examples common to a web based business:

Do you have an absolute deadline of ten days to write an ebook? You’ll get it done in ten days. Do you have an absolute deadline of five days to write an ebook? You’ll get it done in five days.

Do you have one day to close a new client or you’ll lose your home? You’ll get it done in one day.

Do you have an unlimited amount of time and a lack of motivation? You’ll never get it done. This is something many small business owners deal with.

Obviously you have to pay attention to logic and the limits of human ability. You can’t write a 200,000 word book in a day, for example. But you should be setting deadlines for yourself… even stretching yourself a bit from what you think is possible.

If you have a tight deadline and you absolutely must get something done, or else, you will find a way to get it done. If you have an unlimited amount of time to get something done, the chances are good you’ll never get it done.

When it comes to online business, people have big goals but don’t really solidify them. That leads to disaster and a complete lack of progress.

It’s important to have goals not just for what you want to do, but by when you want to have it done and by when you want it to start earning for you.

Even if you don’t work for a boss or for clients, you need to set time limits for yourself. You have to constrain yourself to get things done within a certain amount of time. When you do, your brain will naturally find ways for you to work faster and more efficiently. There’s so much time wasting in business and in life. Giving yourself time limits can actually help you produce higher-quality work in less time.

If you doubt yourself and go back and forth and remain indecisive or inactive, it will crush your business. There’s nothing worse for achieving goals than having no constraints on yourself.

Set Time Limits For Yourself

I want you to set a time limit for yourself right now. What’s your big project that’s only half done or that you’ve only dreamed of doing at this point? Set clearly defined goals for that project right now and set a very specific time limit for when you’re going to have it done.

Better yet, set a time limit that’s even stricter than you think is possible for completion of the project. I’ll bet that, as long as you’re motivated enough to follow through, you complete the project much faster than you thought you could and that it turns out much better than you thought it would.

Clearly Write Your Deadlines Down

Be strict with yourself. It’s important to hold yourself accountable. Know what you’re doing and by when you need to do it. Hold yourself to milestones along the way.

Literally write your deadlines down on your calendar, put them into your phone, or whatever it is you need to do.

Don’t just leave your goals and projects open ended. You’ll never get them done or they’ll take so much more time than they need to take.

This is an adjustment for you, but I think you’ll quickly see a big difference. It’s freeing in a way because you’ll know what to expect. It gives shape to your daily routine and you can start to better visualize what it looks like to complete projects and achieve goals.

It’s okay to adjust your deadlines up and down as you get a feel for how long things actually take you. Just be careful that you aren’t going too easy on yourself. Don’t let yourself fall into excuses for why you aren’t getting things done as you’d planned.

Give yourself deadlines and you’ll be happier and more productive. You can even work less and achieve more because you’ll be smarter about the time you do spend working. Parkinson’s Law exists and you can see it in your own habits and results. You may as well put it to work for YOU.