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Is Parkinson’s law threatening your small business?

Are you just busy being busy?

If you find that you are so busy all the time but you are still not making money you could be suffering from Parkinson’s Law.Parkinson’s Law.

What is Parkinson’s law

“Work expands to fill the time available for its completion”.

For example, you have two weeks to complete the plans for a party. Chances are you could do this is just a few hours or a day at most. However, you have two weeks up your sleeve so the plans for the party begin to grow and grow. You organise more and more and the party becomes a large undertaking. Parkinson’s Law is at play.

Why we fall, victim,

As business owners, we find ourselves available 24/7 rather than completing set tasks within a set amount of time each day. Because we have this seemingly endless time we are less focussed on the immediate task and we all know how fast each week flies by.

Have you ever heard that if you want something done give it to a busy person and ask for it to be completed yesterday? The fact is that deadlines no matter how crazy, work.

This can be even worse when whole teams are involved as social loafing comes into play. This leaves the weight of a project up to only a few members of the group while others loaf. People within business partnerships also experience this, one may be doing more than than the other, this leads to resentment and ultimately a breakdown of the partnership. 

Parkinson’s Law is, in fact, a perfect term for procrastination, you procrastinate so much that nothing gets done. You fill your time with other tasks rather than tasks that actually earn you an income. 

Small business owners

You could potentially be sabotaging your small business with this phenomenon and not even realise it.

If you sell an item for $20 and its physical cost was $10 – how much time, energy and effort were put in to get $10 profit? Do you also have rent to pay out of the $10 profit and other costs? How long did it take for you to find that product too – these are all your costs.

Designers – Do you have scope creep? Do you quote for a project and then spend way more time than you should have? Getting carried away with other aspects that ultimately cost you money.

Plenty of business owners have told me they are so very busy all the time, however, they are not making any money. How can this be, surely if you are run off your feet you must be making money, right!!!!!!!!!

They are too busy for social media – but they need more clients. There is no money or time to spend on marketing but they need to market their business. 

Make the time now to review your business and see what you can be doing better and with more efficiency so that you actually start making money. Be accountable to yourself!

How do you overcome Parkinson’s Law

  • Ideally, you want to stop it before it starts but you can change the way you are currently doing things.
  • Outline the task – Remember that it is your business and you get to set the rules
  • Clarify the responsibilities – Are you doing all the work or are you outsourcing or do you have staff?
  • Know the time you have allocated – How many hours have you quoted for, stick to it! And if you find yourself constantly spending more time than you have quoted for you need to adjust your quotes.
  • Selling products – How many do you need to sell each week? Time to hustle or you won’t sell enough. Do you need to find products with a better margin?
  • Business owners it is time to set your deadlines NOW.

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