Of all the laws and sayings that govern the world of work and play, I think it’s Parkinson’s Law that resonates the most with me.

‘Work expands to fill the time available for its completion,’ or words to that effect. It occurs to me that it also contracts to fit the time available for completion as well.

I was reminded of this recently when a project that had been running for months and had a deadline of 11:59pm on a Friday used up literally all its available time, and a few minutes the other side of the watershed too. We were in good shape mid-week, then a few extra review rounds got wedged in, and before you knew it we were under the gun.

The key thing is this: nothing’s perfect, ever. You can always find another tweak, something that constitutes a micro-improvement. This is especially true of a long, detailed document. The possibilities for a typo, a punctuation error or a stylistic inconsistency are limitless.

Which is why we have deadlines, why we impose limits.

You always have to do your best work, nor settle for mediocre. But, you gotta stop at some point.

 

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