How Elon Get Things Done In Less Time | Parkinson's Law

June 13, 2021
Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.

In 1995 Cyril Northcote Parkinson publish an essay on The Economist and this quote was a part of its first sentence. Earlier it was tends to criticism of the bureaucracy, but as of now it has many implications from business to productivity.

Let's take the example of Elon Musk, who is one of the most productive CEOs. He set very unrealistic deadlines while some say he's overconfident, but that's not the point what people don't see is the motto of doing that is Parkinson's Law (it continues in post).

In this post, we will talk about the generalization of law (simply productivity). But you can apply this very same principle to various case and scenarios.

The Parkinson's Law

Let's try to understand what does this law tells about, Parkinson says: When we have more time than we need, we tend to our inefficiency.

It's not necessary that when we have more time, will tend to produce better work, instead it can result that you are wasting the extra time to fill the gap.

For a task when it's already finished after the time allotted to it, then possibly it's wasting your time. Maybe you can complete the same task in 2-3 days which took a week, or maybe you try to polish the result to fill that extra time.

I think it's one of the most important laws in the field of productivity. This law is not based on some technological tools but on pure psychology.

How to apply the Parkinson's Law

Let's start applying the law to boost your productivity and get the work done is less time.

1. Analyze the given task

First you should start by analyze the task you have and take a note of the time allotted to it. Make sure that you should not allot a task more time than it needs, otherwise it can result into wasting your time.

Also, it's good to have a task management app where you can add all the tasks which will be in one place and in case you forgot your task, it will remind you. There are many task management apps such as Google Tasks, Todoist or just pick which suits best for you.

2. Prioritize them

According to law, 10% tasks you do are important and 90% useless - as this forces you to do more important task first rather than wasting time on new task or less important task. Now it's important to distinguish the tasks according to priority by high priority task and low priority task, also assign new task little time and if necessary increase it.

Don't try to distinguish too much such as differentiating the task for High Prority, Medium Priority, Low Priority, Too-Low Proriy, just make two priorities High and Low that's it.

3. Make the deadline

After prioritizing the task it's equally important to set the deadline for them, you should now set considerable deadlines and if you really want to know `The Power of Deadline`, so when you set a deadline for a task try to mean it seriously not just a task with finishing date.

Delay is the deadliest form of denial

If we take Elon, he set deadlines, highly motivated towards his goals and not procrastination while doing so then and only then he is able to change the perception of people.

Also, Elon talks about his idea in public which creates excitement and if he doesn't able to meet them then his reputation would suffer.

Well it's not that he's always perfect and never missed a deadline, but the deadline forced to work his employee full force and the result speaks themselves.

4. Race against the clock

Let's say you a task which takes about 30 min to complete, now try to compete the task before 30 min, try to beat the clock and win against it without sacrificing the quality of work and taking any shortcut. You have to get things done in less time.

Stop wasting time on time killers

Limit the time you are spending mindlessly on social media scrolling, because these are your time as well as productivity killer. Instead, limit the time usage for that, such as allot the time limit for social media 10-15 min and try to complete your task before the time ran out.

Don't try to be perfectionist

If you put off everything till you're sure of it, you'll never get anything done.

Don't tend to a perfectionist, because it's another name for time waste. Perfection does not exist, it's just the way you see it. I was reading this post which tells how we tend to make things perfect instead of accepting things in its natural form.

If this won't work out for you, here's why!

If this is not working or will work for you then it can be the following reasons :

  • You don't care much about the thing(s) you are doing.
  • You are not interested in what you are doing.
  • Not prioritizing the tasks.
  • Loose focus while working.
  • Procrastinating