In essence, the Parkinson’s Law states that work expands/contracts to take up the available time.
Ok, but what does this all mean? When we work, or study, we naturally pace ourselves. “I have a test next Friday,“ or “This project is due tomorrow.” This natural pacing controls the speed at which we complete our work – we are either rushing to complete it in time, putting it off for later (procrastination), or we are taking it little by little each day.
Give yourself Stricter Deadlines
Using this logic, we can complete the same amount of work in a shorter amount of time if we give ourselves shorter deadlines because we naturally pace ourselves to get it done in less time. For the skeptics out there, this may seem too good to be true, and I would have agreed with you last year, but now I am living proof of this concept.
I urge you to try this method for a month. If a project is due in a week, make it due in 2-3 days in your planner. If you get assigned a simple homework assignment in a class, get it done right away – no later.
If a project is due in 5 days, make the deadline for completion 4 days, or even 3 days. I personally try my best to get assignments done the day they are assigned (or the day after), and I pace myself accordingly. If I fail to finish it by the deadline, I still got through significantly more of the work in contrast to working on it little by little (or not at all).
Plan in terms of days, not weeks or months.
I advise you to never look at a monthly planner again. If you give yourself a month to complete a project, you are not following the method.
However, there is an exception to this: Studying.
Studying can’t really be ‘completed’. You try to master the material, and once you do, you keep at it daily to keep the concepts fresh in your mind before the test/quiz.
This is why I recommend keeping studying consistently. If you have a Biology test, study 1 hour each day on it – no more, no less.
Not sure how to go about planning for school? Check out Clickup, my productivity software of choice. With multiple views, calendars (with a day/week view), reminders, and Kanban boards, Clickup should be your go-to for anyone wanting to become organized this semester (and beyond).
Parkinson’s Law by C. Northcote Parkinson (adapted from a Deepstash post)
A great article from Atlassian