People are generally fascinated by the laws or principles of life. What is a law in this context? It is any rule that must or should be adhered to, concerning behaviours and their consequences. There are so many secrets to how the universe works. People love to know the inner workings of life so that they know exactly what to do to be successful. There are so many laws of life and some of them are straightforward. There are also laws of life that are atypical, unusual or quite strange. In this article, I shall be discussing some of such laws that you will find interesting.
This law is encapsulated in this simple but thought-provoking statement: ‘work expands to fill the time available for its completion. This was first coined by Cyril Northcote Parkinson in an essay he published in The Economist in 1955. This is an interesting law because it does seem to hold for many people.
Some people prefer to work under pressure. As in, they usually like or find themselves do their academic assignments last minute. They also tend to prepare for exams last minute. Many people even say they operate better this way than doing things in advance. Such people actually satisfy Parkinson’s Law. I am sure many of you might relate that is how you mostly function.
This law suggests any task can be completed within the timeline it is placed in. If it is one week, a month, or a year it will be completed in that timeline. However, it also suggests that the placement of deadlines can cause tasks to be spread out. What this means is, suppose a task has to be completed in one week. It can be possible to actually get the task done in a day or two. However, due to this law, one will find themselves spreading out the task over several days such that its completion coincides with one week.
How people approach this law is a subject of various standpoints. Some dispute it saying that it does not always hold. Some say that it can actually be good for productivity as spreading out the task can be a good thing. Some think that the law is a weakness or condition that must be overcome. Whichever way one chooses to take it there is no question about how the law holds for many people and many scenarios.
This is yet another interesting law that probably already know but just do not know. Have you ever heard of the 80-20 rule? In some contexts, it is also popularly known as the Law of the vital few. The law can be summarized as follows: ‘80 per cent of outputs are a result of 20 per cent of inputs in any scenario’.
This means any given endeavour you have to figure out the 20 per cent – key assets or activities. Then you put significant and focal weight and attention behind that 20 per cent. In essence, these should be your priorities. What this also means is that it is only a tiny portion of your inputs that really matter. You probably have heard me saying that you should outsource. The rationale behind outsourcing is such that you get to have more time to focus on the 20 per cent.
Bear in mind that businesses can even do what is called Pareto Analysis. This just shows you can approach this mathematically as the law suggests. However, for the most part, it is figurative rather than literal. The law simply brings your attention to a core fact. That is, the majority of your results stem from a tiny portion of the totality of what you actually do. Thus implying your priority must be that tiny portion that produces the lion’s share of the results.
Its application is varied and diverse but whenever it is applied it helps in strategy formulation. For example, I have mentioned the 80-20 rule when it comes to digital marketing. Say, in social media marketing – 80 per cent of your time must be devoted to just engaging with customers. Then only 20 per cent is when you actually mention about and encourage your customers to buy your products or services. The same can be applied to the relationship between profits or revenue and customers. As in, 20 per cent of customers account for 80 per cent of the profits or revenue. That would mean you have to figure the 20 per cent and prioritize them.
The Law Of Creeping Normality
This is a notable law that most people tend to fall prey to, no wonder I am discussing it here. It applies to any facet of life and we must do our best to combat it. I can summarize it as follows: ‘people can embrace any change, no matter how bad, if it comes gradually’.
This law explains a lot of what happens in society. At times we wonder how someone puts up with a toxic boss. We at times wonder how customers put up and even defend poor service. We also wonder why people can put up with abusive spouses. All these are examples of scenarios possibly birthed from the law of creeping normality.
It implies that to guard against its effects we have to be intent on solving or addressing issues early on. Otherwise, we end up seeing people normalizing the abnormal. It takes objectivity and vision to address issues early on since early on things might seem harmless or temporary.
There you have it, 3 strange laws of life that are true. Ignoring these laws can be detrimental since their implications are universal. The thing about laws is that they hold whether you believe or acknowledge them or not. It is like the law of gravity; if you jump you will always be subject to it. Thus it is much better to acknowledge and embrace a law such that you can strategize accordingly.