How many times have you had a whole day available to you with a big to-do list and an even bigger expectation of how much you are going to get done only to find yourself wondering where the f*ck the day went and zero things on your list completed?
And how many times have you found out that someone was going to stop by unexpectedly in a half an hour, and in those thirty minutes you accomplished more than you did in the ten hours preceding them?
This phenomenon is described as Parkinson’s Law.
Parkinson’s Law noun
an observation in office organization: work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion
In other words, however much time you give yourself to do something, that’s how long it will take you to do it.
Especially if you are a procrastinator.
If you give yourself five hours to clean up the kitchen, you will most likely be finishing up five hours from now.
But give yourself a one hour deadline, and you’ll get that kitchen cleaned up in 60 minutes with four hours to spare (and the dread of the messy kitchen no longer hanging over your head).
Parkinson’s Law was first expressed by a dude named Cyril Northcote Parkinson who published his observation in The Economist.
If you are a stay at home mom (or dad) or a work at home mom (or dad) who struggles to get things done, this knowledge may help you.
I work on this with all my Not Your Average Fitness Course and Thrive members.
There are a couple things you can do to help yourself in these situations.
One is employing the Pomodoro Technique.
The Pomodoro Techinque was developed by an Italian dude named Francesco Cirillo. When he was in college Cirillo used a timer that looked like a tomato — pomodoro in Italian — hence the name.
I’m referencing a lot of dudes in this post, but these dudes were definitely on to something.
The Pomodoro Technique works something like this:
- Decide on what you want to do. If you have five things to do, write them down in a list.
- Set a timer for 25 minutes. Decide how many items you will complete in 25 minutes.
- Start working.
- Each time in that 25 minutes when you complete a task, check it off the list.
- After 4 rounds or pomodoros, take a 10-15 minute break.
This is a version of time blocking, and it works! Set quick deadlines for yourself, and stick to them.
I’m doing this right now as I write this blog post. 🙂
This will help you to be more productive for sure.
Try it out, and let me know how it works for you!