Parkinson’s Law: Procrastination or productivity?

Parkinson’s Law: Procrastination or productivity?

Parkinson’s law is spoken about since 1955, especially in the corporate world. But lately, it has lost its essence, as we have started to normalize late-hour works in the name of productivity.

Does productivity depend on quality or quantity? Let me give you an example. If you have ample time to prepare for your presentation, say ten days. And like me, you consider yourself productive. So, you will first select a theme for your slides, choose colors and pictures, font style, and so on. You would like your brain to believe that you are productive. But in reality, you are procrastinating disguised in work.

Now, if the time to prepare for the same presentation is two hours, you could have still managed it. You would not put time and effort into selecting the color, theme, font, or any low-priority things. You would devote the time to the ppt contents that include facts and data. Your clients, audience, or team are less interested in the look of your ppt but more in the information you provide. Commonly procrastination disguised as productivity is known as the Parkinson’s effect.

More Time X Low Effort = the same outcome

Less Time X High Effort = the same outcome

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Parkinson’s Law History

Sir Cyril Northcote Parkinson, a British naval historian, and author, first published an essay on Parkinson’s Law in the ‘The Economists’ in 1955. A few of the famous corollaries include:

  • Work gets complicated and lengthy to fill the available time.
  • Work contracts if the time given to work contracts. 

Parkinson’s Law: The Pursuit of Progress.

Sir Cyril Northcote Parkinson


Parkinson's Law

Let the green line represent productivity, and the orange line represents procrastination. Productivity and procrastination are both upward sloping with respect to time. However, procrastination is steeper than productivity. It means that the more time you have, the more you procrastinate and work less after a point of time. Point B is the break-even point. Beyond this point of time T1, one procrastinates more in comparison to productivity or work. Let us take a look at the second graph.

Parkinson's Law

Below point B, one is productive, and once more than T1 time is allotted for a specific job/work, he starts procrastinating. Here, procrastination is disguised in such a manner that you are tricked into believing that you are working. But in reality, you are busy with work that is less worthy in building the big picture.

How to heighten your productivity and efficiency?

Ecofunomics has already written two articles devoted to productivity and efficiency. Feel free to browse.

Mind management tricks to be successful in life

5 Effective Mind Management Tricks to be Successful in Life

Our mind is the wildest horse in the world and taming it, is essential to winning a life race. So how to be a perfect mind jockey? Mind management is the most crucial thing that should be taught in class, but nobody can elaborate on this topic. Let’s learn how to train our minds. Let’s get acquainted with mind management. And I guarantee you… you will be a successful person.


5 Mantras to Success

Success is defined differently for different people. However, if you have proceeded a bit from your original place, consider it as a blessing. You are successful. 

When I started this blog, I thought it would be my peace zone. I thought I would write and post my research ideas once in a while. I expected only my friends, family, and at the most, my students to read my posts. But the widespread of Eco-Fun-Omics readers make me overwhelmed. Hence I am sharing the five mantras that helped me in the journey.

Deadlines are good?

Technically a manageable deadline increases your efficiency. The constant reminder of the ticking clock helps your brain to work, manage faster. Hence, it increases your efficiency and productivity. Though I am talking in favor of deadlines, I would add that not all deadlines are healthy. You should state and point out when you need more time to complete your work. Haste definitely makes waste.

Let me explain. If you need two days to complete your project but your manager is harassing you to do it in two hours. Please step your foot down.

Note from the Founder

Dear readers,

Eco-Fun-Omics is undergoing a few legal and structural changes. Things have kept the team extremely busy. We have new launches coming up, competitions lined up, and a few marvelous sales. The most recent one being the August Sale. Looking forward to it… Let me tell you guys what my favorite picks would be…


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Love you guys Loads !!!

Ms. Shreya Roy, Founder
Ms. Shreya Roy, Founder

Ms. Shreya Roy is an economist by profession. She is currently a Ph.D. research scholar at the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade. Ms. Roy has completed her Masters and Bachelor’s in economics with a specialty in international industries, money finance, and labor economics from the University of Calcutta, India. She is a lover of art and a philanthropist by heart. She has her specialties in international trade & robonomics.

4 thoughts on “Parkinson’s Law: Procrastination or productivity?

  1. Most Parkinson’s law have bell shaped graph, I like how you used linear graphs to explain it. New approach to the theory.

  2. I like such simple articles. The extensive articles scare me. Ms. Roy and her intern’s articles make me feel as if i don’t know economics even though i am a BA in economics.

  3. I guess this explains why people who do last min studies score good… we study all round the year yet score average.

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