Parkinson's Law of triviality is the idea that organization gives disproportionate time to insignificant items. An example often used is the discussion of a multi million pound power plant. No one really understands the implications so it gets waved through the committee with little discussion. However, when it comes to the issue of whether to provide a bike shed for workers, there could be an animated discussion about - whether to build it, how to build, and what color e.t.c.
In our media the law of triviality is quite evident; see in today’s news “My Name Is Khan “related stories are dominating, where the Chidambaram’s comments on PoK residents are not even visible on front pages.
At personal level when I analyzed my time spending pattern, I find law of triviality is prevailing. I think its bit hard to change the thought process of nation or organization, but we should be able to change our own.
I have taken few baby step towards managing law of triviality, now I list down top three important tasks for the day, this I do during my morning tea, some time I suggest my colleagues also to make such list, I ask them when I want their focus on an important issue effecting my project. For my project meetings, I set the agenda in advance and also sequence it as per the criticality of the issues.
I close with few quotes:
Time is what we want most, but what we use worst. - William Penn
Ordinary people think merely of spending time. Great people think of using it.
Until you value yourself, you will not value your time. Until you value your time, you will not do anything with it.- M. Scott Peck
If you want to make good use of your time, you’ve got to know what’s most important and then give it all you’ve got. - Lee Iacocca
It’s not enough to be busy, so are the ants. The question is, what are we busy about? - Henry David Thoreau