The second thing I really wish they had taught me in law school is Parkinson’s Law. Parkinson’s Law basically stands for the proposition that an assignment or obligation will not only expand into the time allotted for completion but will also seemingly become more complex. I certainly never knew the name for this phenomenon but I definitely have experienced it! For instance, if you commit to finding and resolving a problem within two weeks, the problem will seem to exponentially grow in difficulty over those same two weeks and you’ll spend even more time trying to come up with a solution.
Therefore, focus on finding solutions. Then just give yourself one week instead of two, two days instead of four, thirty minutes instead of sixty, to solve the problem. This actually forces your mind to stay focused on solutions and action rather than the looming amount of time you’ve allotted to find the solution.
Of course, the end result may not be 100 percent perfect if you go back to The Pareto Principle, 80 percent of the value of this solution will come from 20 percent of the energy you expended to find it. But what most likely will happen is you will end up with a better resolution because you didn’t over complicate things. You’ll certainly get things done more quickly, develop laser-focus when working on your projects and ultimately end up with more free time to now focus on new work instead.
This post is based on an article that originally appeared in our newsletter. Written by Susan Liebel of Solo Practice University.