What I learned week 50 2022

Becoming more productive increases the amount of work to be done. This is a counter intuitive effect called Jevons Paradox.

“In the 1800s, most people thought a more efficient coal engine would lead to less coal burning; an economist called Willam Stanley Jevons argued the opposite. As the cost of using coal drops—because of the increased efficiency—he expected demand to increase. Jevons observation turned out to be correct and has since turned into a formal theory called Jevons Paradox.”


This effect applies to our day to day as well. If you work more efficiently, you’ll end up having more work. Once we know this, we can use it to our advantage: add a little friction to working too much, and remove friction from whatever you want more of in life. Want more family time? Remove friction from that, and add it to anything else.

Example from my own life: I want to spend more time doing experiments. So I’m gonna block time to do experiments in my calendar, and go to a coffee shop for that time without my work laptop. Making it much harder for anyone to interrupt me, including myself.