From my old blog:
Ever heart of that!? Its Parkinson’s Law. A friend pointed me to it. I found it very inspiring and worth sharing with you.
Parkinsons scientific observations, such as the increase in the number of employees at the Colonial Office while Great Britain‘s overseas empire declined (indeed, he shows that the Colonial Office had its greatest number of staff at the point when it was folded into the Foreign Office because of a lack of colonies to administer).
He explains this growth by two forces: (1) “An official wants to multiply subordinates, not rivals” and (2) “Officials make work for each other.” He notes in particular that the total of those employed inside a bureaucracy rose by 5-7% per year “irrespective of any variation in the amount of work (if any) to be done.”
Their are some great Corollaries:
- Data expands to fill the space available for storage.
- Storage requirements will increase to meet storage capacity.
- Nature abhors a vacuum.
A second aphorism, attributed to Parkinson and sometimes called “Parkinson’s second law”, is “expenditures rise to meet income“.
The Stock-Sanford Corollary to Parkinson’s Law reads, “If you wait until the last minute, it only takes a minute to do.” If a task can expand to fill the time allotted, then conversely, the effort given can be limited by limiting the allotted time, down to a minimum amount of time actually required to complete the task. This phrase is often associated with procrastination.
Parkinson even goes that far to say that: Even if quiting the core tasks of a organisation the administration would still grow!
What does that mean to us!? I would say that it shows how important it is to put up timeframes or deathlines for all of our todo’s! because if not it will take infinite to complete them
I would sum it up to this: Limits are the friend of efficiency!