⏰ “It is a commonplace observation that work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.” Cyril Northcote Parkinson, The Economist,1955.
I gave myself the morning off today and I’m really glad I did.
It’s been a mad few weeks and yesterday evening when I hit send on this month’s main editing job (55000-word thriller proofread), I felt like I hit a bit of a wall. I had to take a break.
Parkinson’s Law states that work expands to fill the time available — and that is certainly true as far as I can see.
So if I hadn’t taken the morning off, I would have been busy all day.
I know I would not have given myself the afternoon off, even if I’d intended to. I would have been fiddling with peripheral tasks, opening emails and expanding my to-do list with every passing thought.
And this morning, I went for a three mile walk, had a smoothie with vegetables in it (which is not like me at all!) and spent an hour and a half reading in the bath.
And I reckon I worked far more efficiently this afternoon on the admin tasks, planning and prep stuff that I needed to tick off today.
I’m pleased I put my wellbeing first and feel like I’ll be on form tomorrow and Friday for full and intense days of work.
I think this might be a good plan going forward. If I need half a day off, I’ll take it in the morning, otherwise it won’t happen.
😅 Please remind me of this smug post when I forget and think I can work work work without a break!