Pedro Arantesrose

Parkinson's Law

It stands that "work expands to fill the time available for its completion."
Zettelkasten, January 07, 2021 (changes)


  • It stands that "work expands to fill the time available for its completion."

  • Currently, it's referred to by a mathematical equation describing the rate at which bureaucracies expand over time.

  • It's a system mental model because it explains how work and time correlate.

  • It's correlated to the growth of bureaucracy in an organization or committee.

    1. Officials want to multiply subordinates, not rivals.
    2. Officials do work for each other. 🤦
      • Just imagine how this is inefficient and unsustainable.
  • Corollaries:

    • "Work complicates to fill the available time."
    • "If you wait until the last minute, it only takes a minute to do."
    • "Data expands to fill the space available for storage."


  • What are the characteristics of the organizations in which Parkinson's Law happens?

  • What are the characteristics of the organizations in which Parkinson's Law doesn't happen?

  • Is there a kind of "energy" concept here whose principle is the same as the potential energy that makes a fluid fills the area? I mean, if we drop a viscous liquid on the floor, it'll expand until the elements that were on top remain at the same level as the bottom elements. So the system had some gravitational potential energy of the top elements, and these elements' movement minimizes the system energy.


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