Doist has a broad-brush discussion of some common problems culturally inherent in American knowledge work. The essay may be worth reading particularly if you’re employed in knowledge work either as faculty or in another field while you’re working on your degree.
Among the essay’s comments, the observation particularly struck me that those who cope more successfully with knowledge work
reach a measure of well-being not through fleeting achievements like inbox zero or mastering their to-do lists but by recognizing their limits and setting boundaries that allow them to better enjoy work—and the rest of living.
This observation deeply resonates with the importance of essentialism to healthy knowledge work and, indeed, healthy further study in the midst of a life where other things also matter a great deal (and perhaps still more). For further discussion, see, e.g., the interview below.
Jumping off from the productivity advice of Mark Forster, Jackie Ashton discusses how to get everything done while not letting work occupy all of life. The essay summarizes, Forster
points out it’s not time that we should focus on, he says—there are 24 hours in every single day, no matter how we slice and dice them. Instead, we need to learn to manage our attention.
This technique not only covers how to get the work done, but also gave me a systematic approach to decide what should be on my to-do list in the first place.
It’s a system that forced me to (finally) grapple with the time and energy constraints I’m working with and ensures that I’m giving each important area of my life the attention it needs.
For the balance of the essay, see Jackie’s original post.