Huy's Notes
Parkinson's Law

Parkinson's Law

#thinking #reading

Parkinson's Law claimed that:

Work expands to fill the time available for its completion

Although it can be applied everywhere, I'm more interested in its relation to personal productivity.

Roughly translated, it means, the more time you have to finish a task, the more complicate it become, or maybe, the more time it's likely to take to finish that task.

Reality connected, I've found myself picking up tasks with high estimation (in terms of complexity, time to finish) and doing nothing until the last minutes, assuming everyone else in the team would be OK with me taking long time on it, because it's a hard one (by estimation). (see [Social Loafing]).

Eventually, such habit dragged down my productivity and do more harm to both me and the team than good.

Knowing what's Parkinson's Law is and the impact of it, is just half of the problem. The other half is how to combat Parkinson's Law. According to an article from Atlassian, here's how:

  • Make it clear to everyone involved with the task about its (and their) importance, impact, priority.
  • Make it clear for the team members about their role and responsibilities, so they can take more accountability on the task they're assigned and help prevent [Social Loafing] in the team.
  • Understand the scope of the task being assigned, to not make the work expands unneccessary.
  • Understand the trade-offs: To adjust the amount of works or the allowed time for the work better. To have a reasonable timeline/deadline.

Referred in


If you think this note resonated, be it positive or negative, please feel free to send me an email and we can talk.