3 Ways A Simple Natural Law Can Help Us In Our Lives


So in this blog I thought I would highlight a useful law of human nature, that I use with the 1-1 well-being and performance side of what I do, with an overview of 3 differing areas of our lives this law can proactively and creatively be applied to help us to thrive in the busy world we live.

The Story

So how this topic choice came about was my observation of recent events with the GDPR compliance rules coming in on 25th May 2018. Those who run a business have been well aware that this was coming into force for at least a few months prior, yet the picture was the same across most businesses. The week prior to the deadline we all were inundated with emails about it, I got everything sorted out on the 24th May at 8pm, which got me thinking, as why was this completed so close to the wire, when I knew it was coming months in advance? This was more than a personality type preferences of some people, where everything is a last minute rush. I had given myself until the 24th to get this all done, but still. I'm known for being super organised and strategic, yet there I was a few hours before the deadline still sorting this out. So what was going on?

So What is it?

So the events reminded me of a law that can relate to human nature that I use frequently with those I help in my coaching work as well as with myself all the time, which is Parkinon's Law, which states: The demand for something expands to meet supply.  We See this play out in economics, time management, personal finances and at the buffet. In drawing your attention to this I wish to highlight different areas of our lives where this law can be used to support our efforts, to have more time, better finances, be more productive or reduce stress. In essence we can create ways of having pre-chosen parameters to contain things (to avoid over expansion or over-use of our resources, if you like).

Look at the Buffet!

To see Parkinson's Law in action there is no greater place than to go to a buffet, or one of those help yourself carvery pubs, where they serve the meat (or alternative) and you 'fill' your plate (literally) with an array of vegetables and potatoes. The point being if you had a huge adults plate you will fill it, if you were given a smaller child's plate you would fill it. (in this example the food amount will expand to meet supply- of the room on your plate).

3 Areas This Law of Nature Can Help Us In Our Lives?

More Available Time

So with time we can create pre defined parameters of time we give to activities (based on importance, time available, resources etc- another conversation). So we might work, have hobbies, have children, partners, other commitments, sleep, (if not done already add one marked as looking after YOU (or similar). Have a look at how you currently use your time. Over a week tends to suit most people, but you could think over a month or a year The question being where is your time going? Are the important areas of your life getting the lions share of your time? this point can tie into the one around productivity below, however this point is thinking more strategically, in overview, rather than individual tasks. For now a fun exercise is to look over a week and record what percentages and actual time is given to differing areas in your life? And how does this fit with what you say is important to you?

More Available Money

This Law works great when applied to finances, be that personal or for a company. This is a very different approach than you see with mainstream financial management, or with traditional profit and loss sheet management in businesses. You tend to see this used more in select Entrepreneur business. There are ways we can create self imposed parameters in what funds are available for differing areas of our life (from a viewpoint of selective frugality to better support what is important to you, rather than a place of lack) out of whatever money pie we have for certain areas of our finances, you could use pre defined percentages of income are allocated to differing areas. This creates controls on spend in each area, as well as redefining observations of what is available to spend in certain areas (rather than one pot) forcing new behaviours and levels of creativity to stay with those parameters, if set up well this can also reinforce your subconscious with more positive messages around finances.

Better Productivity

So now we look at time from a more individual task view. If we set on a project and allow it 3 weeks, it will take 3 weeks. If we give it 3 days it will take 3 days. This does take a degree of discipline and watch out if you are prone to perfectionism, this will stretch you. The point is with the above example the 3 day quality tends to be 85+ percent as good as the 3 week effort, yet massively better for free time, reducing time stress and increasing productivity. For fun you can really push it to say 3 hours and see what you can get done!

In Summary

Have a play with this introduction and the concepts above. I hope you found them useful. I will finish now, as I have used up the allocated time I gave myself to complete this blog (to stop me spending 3 hours writing this, then tweaking it for a further hour). I gave myself 1.5hrs to write this, with a 20 min final read through before sending it). So this in itself can serve as an example of Parkinson's law in action.

If you would like to look into this topic more deeply and explore ways of getting this law working for you in your life, I can offer support with this through my 1-1 coaching. If you wish to find out more simply visit my website and we can arrange a free discovery call, where we can discuss how I could best help you. 

About the author, Shaun Mckeown: could be labeled as a performance strategist, or coach, or a life balance specialist. In essence Shaun is a strategic, creative problem solver, with a holistic view. He has over 15 years professional experience helping people with health, well-being, sport performance, reducing stress and life balance. He has a BSc.(Hons) degree in Sport and Exercise Science, as well as experience coaching and teaching in exercise conditioning, holistic lifestyle and nutrition, sport performance and Reiki. So has both science and holistic perspectives. 


The information contained above is provided for information purposes only. The contents of this article are not intended to amount to advice and you should not rely on any of the contents of this article. Professional advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from taking any action as a result of the contents of this article. Shaun Mckeown, disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on any of the contents of this article.