Thursday, August 28, 2008

Parkinson's Law

Aozora mentioned in a comment a couple of days ago that "There is a theory that if overtime is disallowed and it is insisted that work gets done on regular time only, it can and will in fact get done." Which is kind of a restatement of Parkinson's Law, which is generally stated as: "work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion". I've noticed this a lot, and to combat it I have a little timer at my desk which I periodically set through out the day so that the "time available" for the task I'm working on is never infinite, or "all day".

But just focusing on this small part of Parkinson's genius is to miss one of the greatest business and management books ever written. If you have any desire at all to understand how business really works, or at least the underlying cause of the the really dysfunctional parts of business. I cannot recommend Parkinson's Law too highly. Of course I'm sure any local library will have it, so if you don't want to buy it check it out, it's pretty short and it will change your life.

Opps, gotta go, the timer just went off


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