What I learned week 3 2023

Productivity gurus are fighting about a false dichotomy, and a good example of Parkinsons law.

Productivity guru fight

Ever since Gary V asked us to stop doing shit we hate back in 2008 there’s been a split between Hustle culture and self care. It can quickly be summarised like this:

Hustle culture is all about getting off your ass and doing the work, regardless of your mood, just get it done and reach for your dreams.

Self care is all about realising that energy is finite, and you shouldn’t waste it stressing out, but take care of yourself and do what’s important.

The problem with this us vs them mentality that has evolved over the last few years among productivity gurus is that this is a totally false dichotomy. You shouldn’t be stressing yourself do death. And you should definitely turn off Netflix and get going if you want to achieve something. These things are both true, at the same time. Finding the balance between the two is not easy.

Thankfully we have new gods gurus:

Shawn Parrish said this:


But Ali Abdaal said this:


Parkinsons law explained

You know Parkinsons law that you’ve probably quoted at standups every now and then?

“work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.”

Parkinson’s law

Do you know what that actually looks like? Because it isn’t always obvious to me. Though I find it becoming more and more true as my projects grow in complexity.

Thankfully indie hacker Marie Ng came up with a simple example in an interview for Ness Labs.

Parkinson’s Law states that the work you have to get done fills the time allotted to it. If you’ve ever noticed yourself procrastinating because you think “oh it’s not due till next week”, and then scrambling to get it done at the last minute, then that’s Parkinson’s Law.

Marie Ng

That really helps. Also it hurts a bit.