What is Parkinson’s law?

What is Parkinson’s law? The more time it takes to finish a task, the longer it takes. The longer the time allotted for the work to be done, the longer it takes to complete the work. In fact, if 5 days are given for something that would take 1 day, it will no longer take 1 day. It will take longer just because more time is given.

In 1955, the historian Northcote Parkinson wrote an article in The Economist magazine. The article reads as follows; “This law is a simple observation that the work to be done is spread over the entire time allotted for it. For example, an elderly aunt or uncle with time on her hands might spend a whole day writing a postcard to her niece who lives in another city. She spends an hour looking for the postcard, another hour looking for the glasses, an hour organizing the postcard, and half an hour taking the postcard to the mailbox. The same task takes only 3 minutes for a person with no time.

If we need to pack for a vacation, we usually do it on the last day. Even though we have a lot of time until that day, we leave it to the last day because we have set a limit in our minds that it can be prepared until the last day. The same thing happens a lot during school years for exams. If there are even 2 weeks before the exam, it is usually studied in the last 1-2 days. The point here is not to leave it to the last moment. For example, you start studying 12 days after you know that there is an exam in 2 weeks, but if it is said that there will be an exam in 30 days, you spread it over 30 days. It is to spread it out for as long as it is given.

We need to pay attention to this when we give ourselves a deadline for something. In fact, if we set too much time for something we can do in a short time, we may be too lazy to do it and leave it to the last moments. This is where Parkinson’s law comes into play. You should calculate correctly before you start your work.

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