Very good point, but you know the problem? At least for me, a hundred tasks are staring at me from my to-do list at the moment. If I do not zip past them today, some of them will add up tomorrow.

Each quality task (writing, reviewing, reflecting) requires at least two hours of quality time. I start in the morning (I am NOT a morning person at all but if you live in a country like the Southern New Zealand where all businesses open at 7 AM in the morning and shut by 4:30 PM), with next to zero public transport (so you cannot even go through reading on a bus or train), you are stuck to become a morning person and drive cars. Life is punctuated with Skype calls, and staff meetings, and “morning teas” and the crap where you have to be or expected to be present just when you are into deep work.

In any case, much as I appreciate your call to pay attention to the quality of work and swear by it, I find myself chained to my to-do list and driven by the quantity. Then there is a Macdonald-cheeseburgery sense of satisfaction to it — I went through the bastard and finished all I had to do. Just before the treadmill starts again.


Need a better strategy.

Associate Professor of Epidemiology and Environmental Health at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand. Also in:

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