“work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion”.
Most of us would nod knowingly or ruefully in agreement, perhaps recalling a painful personal experience in the past.
I’ve got a somewhat different take on it.
My job allows me a great deal of flexibility in how I plan my day. When I first started, I felt the need to pack my diary to the brim. I was afraid that if I fail to do so, I would end up wasting my time surfing the Internet in the office or doing other mindless tasks.
Now, I do just the opposite. At the start of the week on Monday morning, my schedule for the week is practically empty. The columns are blissfully white.
But as if by magic, things start to happen. I would get phone calls requesting for urgent meetings, e-mails would arrive in the inbox, unexpected visitors would drop by my office.
If my schedule were packed, it would allow me no time to attend to these serendipitous events. For example, just the other day, a customer from Turkey came by without a prior appointment. If I had been out on an appointment, there goes my chance.
So the lesson is: it’s okay not to be busy.