Saturday, August 7, 2010

Why is my laundry still piled up in the corner?

I'm reading a book my brother lent me, The 4-Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferriss. I haven't gotten very far, I've had it for months and am only on page 82. This mere fact shows me I need some of the principals in the book. Yesterday I read 2 things of interest. One, Parkinson's Law which says that "Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion". Two, most people spend (waste) time on non-important tasks.

Interesting ideas huh? Think about it. Most people work 8 or more hours a day and find work to fill 8 hours a day. But as the book mentions, if we had to leave work early, miraculously we can find a way to get the work done faster.

These two ideas give me reason to pause and evaluate my daily tasks and what is really important. Like why does it take me all day to do the laundry? (I realize this has nothing to do with work but it still applies.) Because while it is going I decide to sit and watch a bit of tv, or play some silly online game. Today I finally managed to put away all the clothes I washed and folded last week. Why did it take me so long? Mostly because the IDEA of putting it all away seems so mountainous I mentally find it draining so I just lop it up on the bench and pull clothes from it as I need them. (I find myself doing more laundry now that I am not working a corporate job. Less dry cleaning bills but more laundry to wash.)

Or why are work tasks so seemingly difficult and time consuming? They aren't really. It's really all in the mind. We THINK the tasks are difficult, hard, time consuming, annoying, pick any word and insert. Reality is if we just STARTED the task, we would most likely find it to not take as long or be has arduous as we first thought.

The other reason could be because bosses expect employees to work a certain amount and if you get your work completed in a quick amount of time, more work is sure to appear. This is the exact delimma mentioned in the book. How to get out of this situation? You either need to work for yourself or find bosses that understand the value of work completed rather than hours worked. Even so, if you work for yourself you may find as I do, whatever tasks you have on your list still manage to take a long time to complete. Discipline is needed to remove wasteful tasks and really work on only what matters.

It's Saturday so only  a little work is required today, mostly just household tasks are on the agenda. So  far today I cleaned the bathroom, put away the laundry and organized a few things, all before I had coffee. I consider this progress...


  1. Very thought provoking! I have been thinking about this a lot since I first read your post. Thanks! I may have to check the book out, as well.

  2. I love reading your blog! Just discovered it! Nice to go back and "relive" some of the yoga TT experiences. I've not written in mine since TT, although I've wanted to, so many thoughts and feelings post training to write about. Thanks for sharing!
    Marcia McGonagle


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