I have just came across an interesting law named Parkinson’s Law.
The amount of time that is required to get a work done is the amount of time that you set aside for getting that work done.
Well, let me explain. If you have an assignment due one week later, the amount of time taken to finish that assignment is one week. One week is a long time for an easy assignment but your brain will trick you to waste time to research about nitty-gritty details about that assignment if you decide to finish the assignment within one week.
But something amazing happens when you have only a day left to finish the assignment. You finish it within one day. It may not be like Picassos art but it’s pretty descent.
Now imaging tricking your brain into thinking that the assignment is due next day, even though it is due next week. What will happen?
You will begin to produce the broad brushstroke of the assignment. Even though you finished the assignment in one day which you were supposed to end in one week, the quality of work produced is not much more if not same.
What happens is, your brain tricks you to work on low value tasks while the assignment is due next week. But, when it is the next day, it switches its attention to high value tasks because you can skip some low value nitty-gritty details, but you can’t skip the high value ones. It’s totally okay to spend a day editing your work if it is due next week, but you have to finish the broad brushstrokes first before working on nitty-gritty details.
I came across this law and began to wonder how much time am I spending doing things that doesn’t even matter that much just because I don’t have a short deadline.
This law essentially points to the importance of being a deadline perfectionist.
A lot of time, we waste time trying to make our work perfect, which is, of-course never achieved.
I think being perfectionist is great but there is a catch. You have to be perfect within a deadline. That means you have to be a deadline perfectionist.
A deadline perfectionist is someone who sets a deadline for getting an work done and try to make it as perfect as possible within that deadline. When the deadline is reached or crossed, he will not waste time trying to make the work more perfect rather he will be ready to publish or submit or show the work. :)
Writers often face the issue of editing a written draft over and over again and changing very small unnoticeable things if not anything and procrastinating on publishing. Some, if not many, of them has chronic issue, they write, but don’t publish because they think their work could have been better.
I saw some really talented people who never managed to show their work.
It’s the Parkinson’s law and being a deadline perfectionism in action!