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Time Management: 3 Psychological Laws that Affect Your Time Planning

Procrastination is painful when you just can't bring yourself to get things done during the exam period, even though they are important. Knowing which psychological laws influence time planning and time management can help counteract this problem.

Zeitplanung, StudySmarter

The new semester has begun and you already got your curriculum. This is it, this time you won’t postpone nothing, will rush to complete all the tasks months ahead of the deadline. This is the way it should be after all?… Right?

Not exactly.

Indeed, procrastination is pain. When you just can’t make yourself get things done even though they seem important. But perhaps it is not completely irrational. Let’s try together to understand the root cause of procrastination and the psychological aspects which make us plan time as we do it.


Time Management: Parkinson law

“The work is spread out so as to occupy the time available for its completion”.

Suppose an ideal case: Finally, you want to complete a task in a timely manner and you decide to put maximum effort right from the start. Unfortunately, it doesn’t necessarily mean you will be lucky to complete it 2 months ahead of the deadline. Most likely, you will have not enough motivation to do it quick and effectively as the deadline is so far yet and nothing makes you rush. Even if you were done earlier, your perfectionist nature could make you rewrite the content again and again.

This effect is very detrimental, as it deprives you of your spare time as you continue working at the same task on and on. It is partially the reason why people procrastinate at all, as they subconsciously try to avoid the Parkinson law.


Time Management: Hofstadter law

“Things take longer than expected, even taking into account the Law of Hofstadter”.

This effect, as opposed to the previous one, you will meet at the end of your planning timeline. If you postpone tasks to have time pressure as a stimulus, you should, on the other hand, take into account that humans are in general awful at time planning because they can’t forecast evey risk out there. Therefore, you should always have a contingency time buffer to adjust your plans and safely finish your task.


Time Management: Laborrit law

“Human behavior prompts us to do first what makes us happy”.

Last but not least, this law you meet on your way along the timeline. You should be capable of prioritizing. This may sound obvious, up to the point when it isn’t. Numerous time planners and organizer apps have been developed recently which all get us compiling those mile long ToDo lists every day. The bad thing about it is that all tasks are mixed, which makes us wish to complete as many as possible small ones first regardless of their urgency and priority. We end up accomplishing no significant goals.


Best time management and planning strategy

The best strategy of time planning is to strike the right balance between the Parkinson and Hofstadter laws, while keeping on top of your goals with the help of prioritisation.

And how are you fighting procrastination? Let us know in the comments.

Stay tuned!