You may not know the term Parkinson’s Law, but you will be familiar with what it describes. Parkinson’s Law is really an old adage which says that “work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion”. If you only have one email to write, it will take you all day to do it. If you have twenty emails to write, you’ll get them done in one day.
There are a number of corollaries to this:
- If you wait until the last minute, it only takes a minute to do.
- Work contracts to fit in the time we give it.
- In ten hours a day, you have time to fall twice as far behind in your commitments as in five hours a day.
- (For computers) Data expands to fill the space available for storage.
Many of us have realized that our most productive week of the year is usually right before holidays. We can all learn to be more efficient in our daily jobs and routines. There can be a benefit when we get more done in less time.
As believers, whether in our professional or private life, our focus isn’t just about being efficient but also attending to the right issues. Our life isn’t to be wasted on things that don’t matter. Romans 14:12 tells us that one day “each of us will give an account of himself to God.” Our work matters and it matters to God. Our home life matters as well. Spending time with friends and family, encouraging one another and building one another up…this also is part of our calling and not a waste of time. The Bible encourages us to be diligent about essential matters. Sometimes, being intentional is more important that being efficient.