The Single Biggest Productivity & Time Management Mistake

Be Especially Aware of This if You Are Your Own Boss and Work at a Desk All-Day

Janette Hoefer
3 min readMay 4, 2022


Photo by Hassan OUAJBIR on Unsplash

We all know these days: Something important for work comes up, and you feel like you would need at least half a day to work on it until you’re satisfied. But somehow, magically, you get it done in time, and the result is actually not so bad.

And sometimes it’s just the opposite: You have to work on a short project, and somehow it takes you the whole day to finish it off.

Changes are, you are trapped by the biggest productivity & time management mistake there is, without even realizing it.

And the first step to fixing it is being aware of it. So let’s dive deeper.

What’s happening there?

According to Parkinson’s Law, work expands to fill the time allocated to it.

In other words:

  • If you have an hour for an important task, you will get it done in an hour.
  • If you have 4 hours, it will take you four hours.
  • And round and round it goes.

Parkinson’s law in a nutshell

If you have an hour to complete a task, it takes an hour to be done. If you allocate a day for the same task, it will take you a day.

There are a couple of things how this can be explained. One aspect I like to highlight is our ability to act within a certain range of pragmatism and perfectionism depending on how much time we have.

As your own boss, this is a biggy, because there is less external pressure and structure and what you do, how you do it and how much time you spent on it is completely up to you.

But the more important question is: How you can use this to your advantage.

How to use Parkinson’s Law to your advantage

  1. Every morning, set priorities and structure your day around meetings, calls, and breaks you need to take to get going productively
  2. Learn to prioritize the projects and tasks that are truly important and do them first. Questions…



Janette Hoefer

🚀 Strategic Communications Consultant & Writer for Technolgy & SaaS Businesses🖊 Tech, Mindfulness, Personal Growth & Fitness Enthusiast 👾 Freelancer from🇩🇪