Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion. C. Northcote Parkinson had many variations of the same theme: any undertaking will exponentially expand in relation to the allotted resources. Just look at government pork barreling, bureaucracies where jobs are tightly defined, or even kids doing homework. When there’s a deadline, that’s when the work will be completed. Parkinson was right on the money when it comes to living life in crescendo as well.
As Nolan Bushnell once said, “The ultimate inspiration is the deadline.”

So how do you defeat a timeless axiom like Parkinson’s Law? Simple—you need multiple projects and deadlines. If you’re stymied on one project, switch gears. Chances are the next project you embark upon will be pointing you in the same direction. Just don’t waste time, or it will waste you!  Remember when you were a kid in class, and perhaps bored with a particular subject or teacher?  Then remember that the sweeping second hand on the clock seemed to move at a snail’s pace—it took forever for the school bell to signal the end of the period.  In today’s world, there is no need to waste time. In fact, it’s almost hard to with the instant access you have to activities and information.  Peter Diamandis writes in his fabulous book, Abundance, that the entire amount of information generated in the world from the beginning of time to 2003 is now being recreated every two weeks. In other words, there are more creative thinking opportunities and things to do, learn, challenge, and develop than ever before in human history.

So don’t hit a rut with Parkinson’s Law. Set some personal goals and live life in crescendo. As Zig Ziglar once said, “What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.” It has never been easier to be self-actualized in this wonderful world we live in.  Live it and find out!

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