Have you ever been overwhelmed by the number of tasks you need to do and how much time you need to finish them?
Do you wonder why at the end of the day, you didn’t get anything done?
There is a law called Parkinson’s Law. This law states that “work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.”
This means whatever time you give yourself or do not give yourself, you will use all that time working on that task.
Let’s say your kitchen is in major need of decluttering. You say, “I’m going to tackle it this weekend, it shouldn’t take more than a couple of hours”
The weekend comes, and you start but it’s dragging on and on. Many hours have passed, and you’re not even halfway done.
You’re exhausted and frustrated mom. Understandable, but if you read closely, there is no specific deadline set for the task.
Sometimes a task will take longer if more involved than expected, but you have a pretty good idea of how long it will take for most tasks.
This is what Parkinson’s Law is. You will use all and more of the time you give a task.
Setting a deadline is one key to getting a task done but there are other things to consider like your habits.
I’ll cover the common struggles you might face and what habits you will need to start being the taskmaster you want to be.
Why is it important for moms to know Parkinson’s Law?
It’s important for you to know this because it will help you stop overthinking, and procrastinating. Procrastination is a struggle for a lot of people, moms are no exception.
With overthinking and procrastinating out of the way, you are focused and faster. Voila, you are now an efficient task master.
It’s going to be helpful to you as a mom to know and apply Parkinson’s Law. I recommend you write it down and post it somewhere you can see, as a reminder.
Understanding this simple law can make a big difference in how you manage your tasks.
Let’s dive into what could be the cause of your task management struggles.
Identify your biggest time and task management struggles
For moms, there are many reasons for not getting stuff done or on time. For you, it could be that you have both work and home life to juggle but don’t want to make any tradeoffs.
It could be that you’re a mom that feels she must do it all or life will be disappointing (or fear you disappoint others).
All moms want to feel a strong sense of achievement. Not addressing your biggest time and task management struggles will make it difficult to achieve success.
Let’s learn about what might be holding you back from getting stuff done.
- Doing it all and overwhelming yourself.
- Not prioritizing. Putting time and energy into tasks that are not important and urgent won’t give you the result you want.
- Not being true to your goals. You might be chasing the goals of someone else without realizing it.
- Bad habits and inefficient routines – Trying to be efficient with a set of bad habits makes finishing tasks difficult and reinforce bad habits since you’re still acting on them.
- Not setting deadlines and lack of a calendar system. Need to have a simple but effective family calendar.
- No reward system to motivate you.
These actions could be holding you back from achieving your goals or getting the everyday tasks done.
I’ll give you some tips on how you can get stuff done in a way that applies Parkinson’s Law.
You will be able to complete your tasks effectively, so you don’t waste time spinning your wheels.
Prioritize like your life depends on it
That’s a bit dramatic but it is the absolute best way to be productive. Managing tasks is also about narrowing it all down to what matters the most.
My recommendation is to use a priority matrix to help you figure out which tasks are most important and urgent.
These are the tasks that have the most impact on your life. You want to use your time and energy toward these tasks, not the ones that don’t.
When you prioritize, you become more focused and more efficient with your time. That is the simplest way to get stuff done.
As a mom, time and energy are precious. If you haven’t prioritized your tasks yet, start now!
Stop doing stuff that doesn’t align with your goals
It’s possible that your list of tasks was created based on someone else’s goals. You might not realize it and you know what, it’s okay. You are not the only one!
It’s so easy to get caught up in setting goals based on outside influences. We watch our friends and peers, see what they’re achieving, and set similar goals for ourselves.
We get caught up in competition, and we forget to think about what’s actually important to us.
You’ll set goals that are not authentic, don’t align with your values, and has no impact on your life.
That’s why it’s so important to be intentional about goal setting. Instead of simply copying the goals of others, think about what you actually WANT to achieve.
Think about your short-term and long-term goals, and how you want to get there. Take the time to reflect on your values and what’s important to you. Make sure your goals are in line with those.
It’s worth the effort to dig deeper and find what’s authentic to you.
Authentic goals are much more rewarding and motivating, and they will help you achieve your best.
So be intentional and make sure your goals are true to you.
Be mindful of your habits
Good habits are necessary to help you achieve your goals. Your daily routine is a good indicator to the habits you keep.
Start by considering your daily routine, is it efficient? Does it set you up for success every day?
Take some time to reflect on what your routine looks like and identify any obstacles that might be getting in the way.
When you’ve identified your obstacles, you will know what changes in your habits you need to make.
For example, your morning routine is always chaotic, and you can never seem to get out the door on time. You’re not sure why.
Thinking about your morning at every step, and every action, you will begin to see the reason you are late again.
It could be that you simply underestimate how long it takes to do a task. It could be that changing into day clothes is a problem that dealing with it the night before might solve.
Sometimes it’s the little things that can trip us up. The few minutes it takes to figure out the problem will result in saving you more time in the future.
Use tiny habits to motivate you and help you succeed. For some moms, starting the day by making their bed works. For you, it could be taking 15 minutes to plan and set a goal for the day, or it could be waking early so you can make yourself a healthy breakfast to start the day.
These habits support your goals. One thing leads to another, so you gain momentum.
Use habit stacking to build better habits. It is taking the new behavior and stacking it with your current behavior. It’s like “piggybacking” on your existing habits.
For example, your current habit or ritual is to make a cup of coffee. Your new habit can be writing a line or two in your journal. It could be reading a page or two in a book, or it could be that you stretch for a couple of minutes before you take your first sip.
You can do this with any habit you have right now. Morning or evening routine, the same applies.
Morning routine habit #1 gets paired with a new habit.
Evening routine habit #1 gets paired with a new habit.
I know, I’m making it sound so easy, but it doesn’t have to be complicated.
Start with one small habit like the one I mentioned above. You can do it!
Create a family calendar you can stick to
Creating a family calendar that everyone can stick to is key to maintaining a healthy and organized household. The first step is to establish habits and tasks that work for you and your family.
There is so much involved in managing yourself, and the household. Never try to “go with the flow” or wing it.
If you’re feeling like you’re not achieving much by the end of the day, sort out your priorities and create a calendar with all your most important tasks. Tasks include: meal prep, tidying up, school assignments, setting up meetings, scheduled activities, and any other special occasions.
Assign specific tasks to specific family members with a time in which the tasks need to be completed.
With your tasks ready, it’s time to create your family calendar.
Map out tasks and assign them specific days and times. This way, you can ensure that everyone knows what needs to be done and when.
Don’t forget some flex time. Be flexible as unexpected tasks or events may arise. Include pockets of time in your schedule to accommodate for changes.
Once you have your calendar set up, make sure everyone in the family has access to it. That way, everyone knows what tasks are coming up and when they need to get done.
With a little bit of planning and organization, you can create a family calendar that will help you stay on track and manage your time effectively.
Lastly, make sure you’re actually sticking to the calendar. Set reminders and make it a habit to check your calendar regularly.
With a bit of effort, you can easily turn your family calendar into an indispensable tool for staying organized and on top of your time management.
Create a reward system to keep you motivated
Setting up a reward system is a great way to motivate and encourage you to stick to your deadlines. It could help you maintain good habits too.
The key is setting up rewards that are both beneficial and achievable.
Choose your reward wisely.
Choose rewards that don’t encourage bad habits. For example, if you’ve lost a lot of time binge-watching your favorite show, it’s probably best not to reward yourself with television.
Use incentives that are enjoyable and that recharge you.
The incentive could be that after you’ve completed your tasks for the day, you could carve out some time to read a few chapters of a good book. It could be a bubble bath or a few hours to yourself at the end of the week.
Even better, combine your reward with an activity you enjoy or a goal you have.
For example, if you want to be in better shape, you can reward yourself with a long walk or hike. You will get your steps in, and you feel great afterward.
By creating a reward system, you motivate productivity and encourage good habits.
It’s important to choose rewards that are meaningful and motivating so that they will be effective in reinforcing good habits.
Make it fun so you can keep yourself on track and boost your productivity!
Parkinson’s Law is an effective tool for managing your time. It can motivate you to build better habits, prioritize tasks, create authentic goals, and keep an organized calendar system.
Applying Parkinson’s Law to everyday life will help you maximize the time you have and be the taskmaster you’ve always wanted to be.
Get stuff done without overwhelming yourself.
Follow the tips I’ve shared so you can look back at the end of the day and feel that sense of accomplishment.
You can start with small changes and still make an impact.
Don’t wait another day to make these important changes.
Need a quick win to get the ball rolling? Get clarity and make progress fast with my Quick-Wins worksheets. Check it out here…