How I Applied Parkinson’s Law for a Happier Life

Recently, I’ve been introduced to this beautiful concept. It’s called the Parkinson’s Law, and it states:

Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.

Many people may use this idea to justify waiting till the very last minute to finish a project or assignment. I’m sure most of us have experienced a time where we had a whole week allocated to work on something, but we procrastinate till the very end of the line to get started. But somehow, we still manage to put something together in the last hour. That’s Parkinson’s Law in effect.

Kind of sounds lovely doesn’t it? That there’s a law working in our favor when procrastination is at its finest. However, I’m actually the kind of worker that needs to jump right into a project, lay the groundworks, and get going. For that reason, I actually find the inverse of this law to be extremely comforting.

Knowing that I will definitely finish an assignment in the time I am given means that I do not have to bend over backwards to make something happen. It will happen. Work will be done. Smile, and let it be.

Here’s how applying this newly-discovered concept in my day-to-day made my life a little bit better:

I have freedom from my work.
So a lot of the time, I end up thinking about what work I can be doing and how I can be more productive in that very moment. I have to constantly remind myself that there’s no point getting tangled in a web of “should do’s” if I don’t plan on actually working. Just breathe, and fully enjoy your present!

I can maintain a good work-life balance.
Freeing my mind from work means that I can have a better work-life balance. I can actually enjoy the moments with my family and friends — I can stay in the present, and appreciate the people around me. It’s surprising how many people can be away from work, but their mind hasn’t left it at all. While it’s admirable to be so immersed and passionate about your career, it is much more respectable to have it be only a part of who you are. Your day job should not define you!

There’s less worrying.
At this point, it’s clear how freeing your mind of work means you will worry less. A lot of the times, our worrying is done in vain. The situation we panic over and have night mares about never actually happens. And you can argue that it’s because “I mulled endlessly over it and worked my ass off” to make it that way. I’d like to think that it’s because we always underestimate our abilities to produce good work.

So go ahead and test out this little nugget of knowledge. It’s really just changing our mindset, not about compromising the level of our work. There’s nothing to lose — maybe except for a missed assignment. Just kidding! Everything in moderation and you’ll be just fine.


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