Parkinson’s Law: An Experiment

Parkinsons Law

I came across an olde, but a goodie this week. Parkinson’s Law. Which is basically defined as “work expands to fill the time available for its completion.” So whether you’re given 24 hours or one week to fill out that 10 page paper on the supply and demand of toilet paper during a pandemic, you’ll get it done. More often than not, less time is arguably better… something about lighting a fire under your ass that gets the red blood cells excited to start moving. 


The Task?

The task will be a simple one; Intentionally for my first rodeo. I will complete the book The Alchemist by tomorrow. It’s a book that has been on my invisible list of books I plan to read but “never got around to doing it.” I have until the end of the day tomorrow to finish the book. Stay tuned.

The Next Day

It worked. Not that I did not expect it to, natural laws tend to have a hard time at failing, but it’s a surreal feeling when you’re aware that you’re inside the experiment. Like a mouse knowing it’s inside a maze and understanding that it’s all just a game to get some cheese. The beginning of the day was preoccupied with normal responsibilities, so it came down to reading the vast majority of the book at around 8PM. Which I knew I had to do if I expected to finish before midnight. I made it across the finish line at 11PM. What was fascinating was the sense of responsibility I had added on me. There were many things I would have rather started doing, but I knew that I had to start now if I planned on finishing. Even towards the end when concentration started to dwindle, the sensation of wanting to put the book down and start that HBO movie was clearly there, but it was obviously not an option. Focus started to dwindle at times, so the rate of progress also regressed over time. All these anomalous signals got me thinking about how to approach applying this rule for future goals/challenges. Maybe it’s inevitable to peak slightly over into slowing progress, but how far is too far before it starts to backfire? What needs to be done next is obvious to me: prioritize my goals and objectives. Once this is completed, I can decide how I can manipulate this “Law” to my benefit. More to follow in part 2.

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *