💡 Many of us heard about Parkinson's Law. And even more experienced it at some point. But maybe there is also the inverse principle?

The work expands to fill all time available for its completion

That's the exact idea behind Parkinson's Law. The given task will take all the time available for its completion. This relates to basically any work and most of us experience it more than once. Personally, I had first learned about it during my time at college as some professors joked that this is very common law among students and can be easily observed in college environment. But...

The less time you have, the more you can do

This may sound counter-intuitive at first and clearly there is something illogical here - having more time will (or should?) always result in more work done! Let's rephrase a bit:

The less time you have, the more (important things) you can do.

Rings a bell? Two mechanisms work here:

  1. The less time you have for a given task the less time it will take to finish it* (according to Parkinson's Law itself).
  2. The less time for multiple tasks you have as a whole, the more important tasks you will start with (putting aside Procrastination tendencies).

This means the same or even less amount of work done results in more important tasks done and more visible results from completed stuff. This also relates to ability to prioritize stuff and handling time pressure a bit too.

So that's it. For me, Reversed Parkinson's Law seems to be doing good and was an interesting observation once I noticed it. Being aware of such mechanisms can positively influence the way one perceives their work and the work done itself.

* Yes, only to some extend, any task requires some minimal amount of work and cannot be done in less time than the minimal amount. By decreasing scope of the task the minimal amount of work also decreases so the minimal time can be reduced too. But this is a topic for another article.