Andrew Carnegie & Parkinson’s Law

Andrew Carnegie, was at one stage the richest man in the world.

His workday? Three hours in the morning.

An acquaintance once boosted to Carnegie about how he started work at 7am. Carnegie responded: “You must be a lazy man indeed if it takes you 10 hours to do a days work”

I see a lot of wisdom in this.

It brings to mind Parkinson’s Law. Proposed by British Author C. Northcote Parkinson: “work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.”

We are no doubt all guilty of this phenomenon.

I’m sure much of Carnegie’s incredible success was in part down to being in the right place at the right time. However I suspect he understood Parkinson’s Law far better than most.

We can work, and work, and work, and measure ourselves by the hours clocked. But how much of this actually moves the needle?

I’ll bet it’s not as much as we think.

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