Matt\’s Cuppa

My take on tea, technology, and our environment

GTD Meets Parkinson’s Law

Posted by telecommatt on November 5, 2007

Productivity: Accomplish More by Applying Parkinson’s Law

Parkinson’s Law states that "work will fill the time available for its completion." This is a side effect of focusing on doing work instead of getting projects completed.

Now here’s an interesting thought for all of us GTD’ers. The danger of simply creating a list and checking things off as they are completed is that we’ll never actually save any time. Unless we focus on completing the project instead of the task.

I think that everyone has had days where they cross off a bizillion things from their lists, yet seem to have not gotten any further along. It’s as if we spent the day treading water. Other days, we’ll not even touch our list and have a completely satisfying and productive day.

I forget the term that David Allen uses, but he writes using the analogy of an airplane and seeing things from different altitudes. I think many of us gloss over this section and focus on the ‘meat’ of how to create good lists. But if we maintain our view of the broader context of our list, while we accomplish the things on our list, we are both more efficient and effective.

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