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Why time management is ruining our lives | Oliver Burkeman

The Quest for Personal Productivity

The never-ending quest for personal productivity has spawned countless apps on the Smartphone App stores, and many bestseller books.

Personal Productivity has branched out in the field of dating, hotel stays, parenting and even eating.

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Why time management is ruining our lives | Oliver Burkeman

Why time management is ruining our lives | Oliver Burkeman

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/dec/22/why-time-management-is-ruining-our-lives

theguardian.com

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Key Ideas

The concept of Inbox Zero

'Inbox Zero' is a concept introduced by Merlin Mann, a way to handle your email by processing them to zero.

This is achieved by taking appropriate actions like filing, noting or replying, to all your emails, ensuring no unanswered emails remain to make you anxious, so you can live your life without checking email every few minutes.

The Quest for Personal Productivity

The never-ending quest for personal productivity has spawned countless apps on the Smartphone App stores, and many bestseller books.

Personal Productivity has branched out in the field of dating, hotel stays, parenting and even eating.

Problems With 'Inbox Zero'

The people who implemented the 'Inbox Zero; method ended up getting more emails as they were replying to all their emails, with increased activity.

They also paradoxically started checking the inbox more often.

The anxiety levels increased by applying hyper-productivity.

Cashing In On Personal Productivity Craze

The personal productivity craze got worse due to capitalism, as the essential needs of the population skyrocketed.

Self-help books and gurus cashed in on the productivity craze, as people were promised a sense of control and meaning in their lives.

Pressure Reduces Creativity

While manual work can be sped up, good ideas do not emerge under pressure, as creative people find it difficult to do their best work under looming deadlines.

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Uncritical Productivity

Pursuing productivity for its own sake is counter-productive. 

Most people feel able to complete more tasks when they start using time-management tools, but they don’t bear in mind that they can’t keep increasing their productivity forever, and they commit to more and more. In a few weeks, they are more productive but still frustrated. 

Balancing act

Back when more people worked in factories, laborers did not have to deal with time management. At the assembly line, time was managed for you.

Freedom comes with responsibility: you have to think a lot more about how you manage your time.

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As workers, we are obsessed with getting stuff done. It is then clear why there seems to be a bottomless well full of advice, hacks, tools, tricks, and secrets to help us pack more into the waking ...

Modern History of Productivity
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Abuse Masked as Productivity

In the late 18th and early 19th century, during the Industrial Revolution, machines moved production from handmade in the home to factories. A frenzy of producing more goods more quickly became a kind of national pastime.

Low-wage factory workers, many of whom were children, toiled in unsafe conditions for decades before labor unions put measures in place to protect workers from the excesses of the push for productivity.

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Fixing employee productivity in the industrial age, when most workers were handling machinery and it’s parts, was a tedious but doable process. The managers had to fix the people who were making mi...

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Today’s leaders need innovative solutions to measure and improve productivity in a knowledge-based workplace, as the measurement of output and input is not what it was.

Quality And Quantity

While assigning value to the output of knowledge workers, we cannot simply measure the output like before.

Coders and doctors cannot be measured by the hour, as their output is not uniform or consistent every hour.

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