How to Utilize Constraints For Good

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Here’s how you can use the Parkinson’s Law to maximize your output.

Step 1: Identify the project(s) you want to work on.

It’s easy to assign deadlines for urgent projects, so avoid doing that. Here, you want to focus on high-value projects and tasks so you can get them done faster.

Step 2: Jot down a required time for each of them.

Tak note on how long you usually take to complete each of these projects or tasks. Make your best estimate if you don’t have an answer for that.

Step 3: Cut the time to half.

I know it sounds crazy, but try to challenge yourself to do it. These self-imposed deadlines will create an urgency that pushes you to complete the work. It also forces you to focus on the project to its completion.

Step 4: Review and make adjustments.

The final step is to execute. Then, review the efficiency of your performance. While you’re on it, ask yourself: “Did I stress out with the tight deadline?”

What you want is to find the right amount of stress that motivates you to focus but not too much stress that it paralyzes you.

If you find it easy to finish the task in half the time, cut the time down by 10% to 20% again. On the flip side, add 10% to 20% more time for a task if you’re overly stressed out by the timeline.

Now, leave a comment below to share how you’ll use the Parkinson’s Law and time constraints to increase output.

12 comments… add one
  • Heislyc

    Today I’ll list down all the pending projects and tasks, and estimate the completion time and set a deadline for each, then cut it by half.

  • Ankush Prajapati

    I will do it by doing deadline to half and will challenge myself to complete it in that time.

  • Jan

    I’ll set two estimates on new task/projects. One official deadline for client task/projects, and a Shorter personal deadline for the same task/projects.

  • Sooraj

    I’ll start doing my tasks. And this time I’ll do it by changing deadline to half.

  • Faruk

    I’ll start doing my tasks. And this time I’ll do it by changing deadline to half.

    • Dean Yeong

      Curious to find out — what are some tasks you have in mind to experiment with this method?

  • Tamil Selvan Kumar

    The idea is to create a tangible timeframe and then reducing it to a considerable extent, and using the stress as a motivator to complete the tasks.o believe there is potential to this idea, and I’ll reconfigure my assignment to follow this pattern.

  • Chun

    I will list down the tasks within the projects I am assigned to, and complete them within half of the original deadline assigned.

  • John

    I’m using deadlines to motivate myself to do actually the work I’ve to do daily.

  • Temesgen

    I will do it by cutting the time to half of the project completion and execute, then review my efficiency of my performance.

    For example, I have a habit of reading a book per week. After this time, I will read one book per three days and two books in a week by using Parkinson’s law. Then I will make it one and half day for one book. And then….

    • Dean Yeong

      The Parkinson’s Law is useful in beating procrastination in between tasks. As for reading, you’ll have to read really fast to complete a book in 1.5 day. And what’s your goal to read quickly?

  • Kanekal

    Ya I ‘m finding this Parkinson’s law effective and attracting hope to use this very effectively in future

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