“Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.” This adage was first
written by Cyril Northcote Parkinson in a 1955 essay, so it has come to be known as Parkinson’s Law. It’s a relatively simple concept – that work will take as long as you allow it to take
– but one that is profound when you consider how true it is. And I don’t think that there is any activity where Parkinson’s Law is more evident than business meetings.
We all know the grind of having a calendar full of meetings. There are so many important things on our to do lists – coaching our reps, responding to customer needs, putting together plans to grow our sales, etc. – that the last thing many of us want to do is sit through yet another hour long meeting. Typically, that’s not because the information shared or things discussed in business meeting are unimportant. On the contrary, the content shared is typically very relevant to us and our work. No, what frustrates us and makes us dread the meeting is that we also know that much of the time will be wasted on unnecessary discussions, debates and redundant information. Meetings per se are not bad, but how they are conducted often is.