Boyk’s Converse

“Work expands to fill the time allotted to it.” This bit of wit credited to C. Northcote Parkinson has been around for a long time, but was no help shoehorning my piano practice into college math homework; instead it gave me a Cheshire Cat grin from the piano lid. So I devised Boyk’s Converse to Parkinson’s Law: “Work contracts so as not to overflow the time allotted to it.” Math homework (say) will not overflow the time left for it by piano practice. If you need three hours’ practice, do it! Your math homework will still get done.

To a lot of people, this seems like nonsense! But not to my friend, Caltech math professor F. Brock Fuller. Brock said, “Oh, yes, that’s what my mother did when I was a kid: put a tight limit on how much time I could spend on schoolwork. When the time expired, that was all! But to my surprise, I could still get my work done. I got more and more efficient! And I had time for what was important to me!”

Copyright © James Boyk 2013. All rights reserved.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.