Autum’s Law vs Parkinson’s Law (finding a dynamic new purpose)

Make every day a day with a story to tell with activities that enrich your mind, body and soul.

Parkinson's law

Parkinson’s Law states that work expands to fill the time available. Its derivation was based on the increasing growth of bureaucracy that extended every task.

However, as we get older and step away from the workforce, I can see that with time available, one task can fill an entire day.  We all know about that frustrating call when you’re put on hold or you’re sitting in patiently awaiting an engineer or delivery.  But bureaucracy should not fill our day. 

My new version of Parkinson’s Law is that activities that enrich our body and mind should replace the vacuum from work, so that each day is meaningful and has a purpose.

Parkinson’s Law 

What would give you a sense of purpose?  That can sound quite scary, but it doesn’t have to be some life-changing challenge.  It could be learning a language, cooking, or deepening your relationship with your partner.  What’s really important is to have a plan and objective. Make every day one that has a story to tell.

Today we are so fortunate that we don’t reach retirement mentally and physically exhausted, only able to sit on the park bench of life.  Today, when we step back from fulltime work we are near our prime, overflowing with life experiences, wisdom and hopefully health. We are also more connected, mobile and engaged than any generation in history.

So, let’s replace Parkinson’s Law with Autum Law, which is about a dynamic retirement.  Reimagine your life in retirement, where each day overflows with wish-fulfilling and life-fulling experience, one that your children will admire as an example of how to live. 

When we started work, we planned our career thinking about how we connect a sustainable career with what we are good at and what we enjoy.  Of course, we had to course correct many times as we lived it.  Stepping back from fulltime work is no different. 

We need time out to think once again about reigniting our passions, our relationships and giving back. As we give advice to our children and grandchildren, we must look in the mirror and ask ourselves, what do we want to achieve in the next 3 to 5 years.  When we know what we want to run towards, then each day maps the steps of the journey, remembering that the journey is as important as the destination.

Senior woman, cooking class attendee choosing a food she will prepare

This stage of life has so much opportunity and be almost a third of our life, which means perhaps thirty plus years! And if we’re going to live longer, we want to be healthy enough to make the most of it. This means we must live life on our terms. It’s an opportunity to be more active, to go out and explore and create experiences we didn’t have the freedom to pursue while working. 

Whilst Parkinson’s Law may mean that we mow the lawn for hours, Autum Law is about things to do and places to go!  Autum Law ignites the hunger to use your well deserved freedom to pursue the things you care about – passions, hobbies, people – to design life around you.  Replace retirement with freedom do the things you enjoy with the people you care most about.  Retirement is the time to do even more and even change the world!! 

Of course, work and retirement are no longer binary.  You can create the best of both worlds, but now with the independence to do something you enjoy without the grinding workload of a career and striving for the next promotion. Your wealth of experience, wisdom and connections should make mean that finding a part-time role has never been easier. Make it fun part-time work that brings joy and a sense of purpose.

This is your time and it’s well-deserved, so use it to build and maintain a healthy body, mind and spirit. Those who are unhealthy in body, mind and spirit may live just as long, but the experience will be far less rewarding. Let’s replace Parkinson’s Law, where retirement is about slowing down so that one or two bureaucratic tasks filling each day with Autum Law, which is about being active physically, mentally and socially. 

The canvas is blank.  How will you fill yours?

To help us make Britain one million biological years younger take our autum Lifescore calculator to determine your biological age and use our autum app on Android or IOS to help improve your biological age today!

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