Parkinson’s Law

First articulated by Cyril Northcote Parkinson in the first sentence of an essay published in 1955, Parkinson’s Law is the adage that ‘work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion’.

Put it another way:

If I give you ten minutes to complete a ten-minute task, you’ll be able to deliver it in ten minutes.

If I give you three weeks to complete the same task, you’ll probably take the three weeks.

Conversely, if I give you all the time in the world to complete it, chances are it won’t get done. Not any time soon at least.

And we do this by over complicating, over bureaucratizing and procrastinating.

Of course, the antidote to all of this is doing work that’s important, doing work that matters, which makes a difference, and delivering it to the market.


For whilst we’re all busy and point to the fact that there’s not enough time, and not enough hours in the day, we can all take more time to do more of what matters, with less complexity, less bureaucracy and less procrastination.

Your Turn Challenge is a 7-day blogging challenge inspired by the Your Turn book by Seth Godin. Powered by readers (who are now writers). You can read more at

I decided it was my turn.




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