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How Students Use Parkinson's Law to Their Advantage

Updated: Aug 5, 2023

​​Parkinson's Law is a concept that was first introduced by Cyril Northcote Parkinson, a British naval historian and author, in an article he wrote for The Economist in 1955. The law states that "work expands to fill the time available for its completion." In other words, the more time you have to complete a task, the longer it will take you to finish it.

While Parkinson's Law may seem like a negative concept at first glance, it can actually be used to your advantage. By understanding how Parkinson's Law works, you can learn to manage your time more effectively and be more productive. Here are some tips on how student’s use Parkinson's Law to their advantage:

  • Set deadlines: Parkinson's Law suggests that tasks will take as long as you allow them to take. Therefore, it's important to set deadlines for yourself to ensure that you're using your time effectively. Make sure your deadlines are realistic and achievable, and then stick to them. Setting deadlines will help you focus on the task at hand and avoid procrastination.

  • Break tasks into smaller pieces: When you have a large task to complete, it's easy to feel overwhelmed and get stuck in analysis paralysis. By breaking the task into smaller parts, you will be able to manage your time more effectively.

  • Use time-blocking: Time-blocking is a technique where you schedule specific blocks of time for specific tasks. By doing this, you are giving yourself a limited amount of time to complete each task. This can help you stay focused and avoid distractions.

  • Avoid multitasking: Parkinson's Law suggests that the more time you have, the more likely you are to procrastinate and get distracted. To avoid this, focus on one task at a time.

  • Prioritize your tasks: When you have a lot to do, it can be hard to know where to start. To avoid wasting time on less important tasks, prioritize your tasks based on their importance and urgency.

In conclusion, Parkinson's Law can be a powerful tool for productivity when used correctly. By setting deadlines, breaking tasks into smaller pieces, using time-blocking, avoiding multitasking, and prioritizing your tasks, you can use Parkinson's Law to your advantage and get more done in less time.

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