some notes for myself

May 28, 2023

In the 4-hour work week, Tim Ferriss writes:

  1. Doing something unimportant well does not make it important
  2. Requiring a lot of time does not make a task important

So, let's take a moment to think about it. What he's really saying is that what you choose to do matters more than how well you do it. Sure, being efficient is great, but only when you're focusing on the right things. Mr. Musk says "The biggest mistake engineers make is to optimize things that shouldn't exist".

Mr. Ferriss also gives us some pretty important questions to ponder:

  1. Which 20% of sources are causing 80% of my problems and unhappiness?
  2. Which 20% of sources are resulting in 80% of my desired outcomes and happiness?

Abandon the labyrinth of ceaseless exploration. Instead of getting lost in endless reading and searching, take a breather and answer these questions. Bear in mind, most things bear no monumental consequence. Beware the ruse of busyness—an indolent disguise, engrossed in action bereft of thought.

Embrace the art of doing less, yet executed with precision. Channel your focus towards what truly matters, liberating the superfluous.

"Parkinson's Law" states that tasks inflate in perceived importance and complexity proportional to the time allocated.

Wisdom lies in this twofold strategy:

  1. Limit tasks to the important to shorten work time (Pareto's Principle)
  2. Shorten work time to limit tasks to the most important (Parkinson's Law)

But here's the best part: Combine both approaches. Find those few things that bring you the most success and set clear, short deadlines for them.

Fail to discern the crucial, devoid of designated timeframes, and the trivial shall triumph. Even if you know what really matters, without deadlines that push you to focus, all those little tasks will gobble up your time until there's nothing left at the end of the day.

Cast aside the superfluous. Fixate solely on the essence. Therein lies the streamlined path to triumph.