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Welcome to Merge's Monthly Mega Minute – a bite-sized, yet substantial and practical, nugget of information that you can use immediately to enhance your professional and personal success.

Build in a buffer to compensate for Parkinson's Law

Years ago, when I was still at university, I experienced first-hand the validity and strength of Parkinson's Law. This time-tested adage — Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion — stand true even today, as it still very aptly describes what repeatedly occurs in workplaces. And if you're managing projects or leading teams, it's definitely worth your while to not only be conscious of it, but also deliberately adapt to counterbalance it.

Parkinson's Law doesn't usually occur with any sinister or negative intent, or for that matter, even deliberately. It just happens. Conflicting priorities and other responsibilities mean that work expands to fill the time available up to the pre-determined deadline. Which means that if you're a leader or project manager, you need to assign target dates to team members so that you are left with some "buffer" should things go off the rails. Not everything works out perfectly the first time (understatement of the year!), so creating a "false" deadline is a prudent business decision. Yeah, I know, some of you might perceive this as misleading – after all why put your staff under unneeded time pressure when there is room to ease up — but I call it good leadership practice and I stand behind it. In my experience, Parkinson's Law is just too prevalent for me not to plan for it!

Well, do you agree with me? Practical leadership, or disingenuous? Is routinely compensating for Parkinson's Law a good idea, or have you seen it backfire? If you build in a buffer, how much is enough? Would love to hear your thoughts. Please comment online at my blog at: www.turningmanagersintoleaders.com/blog.


Last chance to make up your professional development points!

If you belong to an association that requires you to attend ongoing professional development programs, then don't miss out on your final chance (at least until next fall) for cost-effective leadership and workplace communication training. Merge is leading three final public open-enrollment events at the end of this month in Calgary. Early bird pricing is still in effect, but not for long!

Click on any program link for further information or to register directly at CPA Alberta's site. To register, you will need to create a secure account on their system, a very quick and easy process.


Turning Managers into Leaders


That if you're juggling overwhelming workloads and conflcting priorities, Merge can help?

If you're a leader, then you have a multitude of responsibilities that keep your schedule overflowing. Tasked with juggling numerous projects and meeting a myriad of deadlines, you're being asked to do more with less: provide better customer service, greater productivity and stronger leadership, all while your time and resources dwindle. How much of a better leader could you be if you were able to truly take charge of your workday, get more done and not have to work at the evenings or weekends just to stay on top? Well, help is here! Merge's 60-minute audio program (available in both downloadable mp3 and audio CD format) continues to be one of her most popular sellers. In less than 5 minutes you could be using skills learned to regain control of your time and become a better leader!

Juggling Your Workload — Prioritization and time management skills for leaders

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