“Work expands to fill the time available for its completion” – Parkinson’s Law
What does this quote mean? Let’s say your band wants to schedule some recording time at a studio. You decide it is going to take 3 months to write the songs. What Parkinson’s Law dictates if you decide 3 months will be what it takes to write these songs, odds are you will be like most people and procrastinate the first month and then slowly work up your productivity until the last two weeks before you enter the studio, when you will get the majority of the work done. In reality, you could have gotten this work done in a month but you left in all this buffer time. The lesson to be learned from Parkinson’s Law is you can do things faster. Often times when planning a project we give ourselves a bunch of extra time just in case we need it, when really this is the time where you procrastinate, and play video games instead of doing the work you are supposed to. As the deadline looms, you then get some serious work done. What do you do about this waste of time? Don’t buffer in the “just in case time.” The next time you are budgeting your time, take a realistic view of how fast you can get something done. This doesn’t mean put an unreasonable rushed schedule like writing 4 songs in a week, it means not buffering in time to be a slouch. If you don’t schedule in time to procrastinate, you will get just as much quality work done without all the unnecessary procrastination buffered in.