I love productivity books. I currently have a huge stack on my desk because I taught a class this week. Recently, I have become more interested in doing the work that’s most important to me, not productivity for its own sake. I gave up being busy long ago.
I didn’t share it during the workshop because I thought it would take us around an unproductive cul-de-sac, but I think Hofsteader’s Law* provides a good cautionary tale when it comes to planning. It is very difficult to estimate how long a complex task will take to complete. I see people attempt and fail this all the time. The funny thing is that they seem so certain of their proposed timeline. The key word here is complex. And anything involving a team is inherently complex.
Hofstadter’s Law: It always takes longer than you expect, even when you take into account Hofstadter’s Law.
This is so forehead-smackingly true. In fact, I think you should consider doubling or tripling your initial time estimate and also be prepared to run out of time.
*As described by Douglas Hofstadter in his book Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid (1979)
Have a Great Monday
And starting September 9, I am going to host a weekly Zoom meetup called Have a Great Monday that’s focused on doing the work that’s important to you and being kind to your future self with a Friday review and planning sesh. There will be a check-in, tips and a discussion topic. It starts at 8 am Pacific Time; stay for 15 minutes or 50 or anything in between, whatever works for you.