Parkinson’s law, Corollary of housewares

I read a long time ago about Cal Newport’s Fixed-Schedule Productivity.

The system work as follows:

  1. Choose a schedule of work hours that you think provides the ideal balance of effort and relaxation.
  2. Do whatever it takes to avoid violating this schedule.

This sounds simple. But think about it for a moment. Satisfying rule 2 is not easy. If you took your current projects, obligations, and work habits, you’d probably fall well short of satisfying your ideal work schedule. Here’s a simple truth: to stick to your ideal schedule will require some drastic actions. For example, you may have to:

  • Dramatically cut back on the number of projects you are working on.
  • Ruthlessly cull inefficient habits from your daily schedule.
  • Risk mildly annoying or upsetting some people in exchange for large gains in time freedom.
  • Stop procrastinating.

I like the idea and am pretty sure that this follows Parkinson’s Law, which states:

Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.

It works that if you have an unlimited amount of time to complete a task, the task will continue to grow to fill the time. This is many of my projects, like “Clean out the Garage”, work as well as many business related projects, “Deploy Document Management System to entire organization.”

One of the computer-related corollaries of Parkinson’s Law is “Storage requirements will increase to meet storage capacity.” It is Spring, so I am in the mood to clean out, and I have to wonder where all of the stuff in our house has come from.

I am here by forwarding another corollary to Parkinson’s Law: “The amount of items owned will grow to fill the space.

I am probably not the first to posit this concept, but I know that it is true in our house. When we first moved into our house, we had a futon, a bed, a desk and two chairs. Now, we have boxes of bits and bobs that have not been touched in a year, or more, furniture that has been moved from room to room to try and make it to work, we have clothes that are either no longer in style, don’t fit, or we just don’t wear.

I have been reading Discardia and I think that we are now going to start observing the Discardian holidays, until then we will be starting our massive Spring cleaning.