“The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one.” – Mark Twain
I have been sitting here at my desk all this time wondering what is it I am going to write next. It’s like those days when you feel so unmotivated to do anything. I don’t know if this has ever happened to you before, but this is one of those days and moments for me that I feel so unmotivated to get things done. I look at my ‘Planner’ and ‘To Do List, and they say there is no way I can let it this slip me today, I have made a commitment to do this, and I have a deadline to meet, and this thing is due in a couple of hours. Therefore, I need to come up with something. So I’m thinking, “But wait a minute! I have lots of my previous writings, I can share them instead, maybe a poem this time, right? Something for a change.” ‘But, no,’ I’m going to skip a short-cut; I have got to finish writing this today.’ Quietly as I look at this ceiling fan thinking what is it I want to write, maybe its better if I silently pray, “May You please dear God, help me.” So as I wait, I keep hearing both the fan and clock singing…tick tick tick, like they are telling me, ‘wake up lady, it’s time for you to continue writing.’ And suddenly this idea comes.
I have learned and practiced about this principle for few years now. And I knew I had to change what I was writing before, because at the moment this was a more important lesson to write about, not only for me, but for you also. One day, when you and me, feel unmotivated again, then we can remember this principle to help us save our time, and become more productive in getting things done.
“The Parkinson’s Law” also knows as “The Pursuit of Progress”
According to Wikipedia, Parkinson’s Law states that, “Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.” Or in other words it basically means that, “Work contracts to fit in the time we give it,” or you can also say, “Data expands to fill the space available for storage.”
During those days when you feel unmotivated, basically this law means that the longer you give yourself to complete a task, or something you want to do, the more unmotivated, and the more big, importantly, and intimidating the task or the thing is going to feel. Take it from Nike’s Slogan, “Just Do It,” and in my case would be “Just Write It,” or just sit there and type, and it will make sense later on as you keep on writing it…hahaha.
Honestly, if you give yourself 8 hours to do something that can be done for 2 hours, guess what? It is going to take you 8 hours to do it. Let’s see; 2 hours to think about it, 2 hours to decide if you are going to do it, 2 hours to get energized to see if you can do it, and 2 hours to finally and actual do it. And there you go; those were your 8 hours. But if you can focus, and clear all distractions, chances you can get it done in 2 hours.
I am that type of a person, if I know I have more time on hand to get a task done until its due date, there is a chance I will procrastinate, but then at the last minute, I will always do the task, and complete it. If I know the task is not that urgent or important in some way, therefore it can wait. And if I don’t assign a due date for it, it will never get done. For somehow I get more things done and become more productive when I know I have a short or tight deadline to do things. It’s insane, but it works for me, even though recently I have been working to change that. There are some things and tasks you must do ahead of time so you won’t miss its deadline in case you find out you need more time to finish the task, or you get an emergency that will interfere and make it hard for you to finish the task as you planned.
For instance; in order to feel less stressful, less overwhelmed and unmotivated in getting things done, I had set up another way to handle my everyday tasks and activities. Let’s say you have a task and you estimate it will take you roughly 6 hours to complete it. You can divide the task in multiple deadlines, depending on what it is of course. For instance; if the task is due in 3 days, you can make the first deadline due on the first day and let’s say it will take you 3 hours to do it, and the second deadline due on the second day and it will take you 2 hours to finish it, and the last deadline due on the third day and it will take you 1 hour to finalize everything. It’s up to you to also decide what activities you have to tackle each hour in order to help you complete the entire task.
Not only you need to set time limits and deadlines for the things you want to do and achieve every day, week, or month, but you also need to make short deadlines to give these tasks short time to do them. And in case you were wrong about the amount of time should take to complete these tasks, then you can increase them as you go along according to your previous experiences. You can also set multiple deadlines not only to make sure you get them done on time, but also to avoid being stress out and feeling overwhelmed.
The lesson from the “Parkinson’s Law” is that set deadlines for yourself. Set tight deadlines and time limits for your tasks. Set time limits and deadlines for everything you want to do every day or every week.
So what do you think of the “Parkinson’s Law?” Do you agree or disagree with it?”
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To your success,