It is hard to be overworked by writing a book, by writing research articles or by playing golf. People are overworked dealing with email, context switching, money, and touchy relationships. This abundance of work makes people sad and boring. And this type of work tends to reproduce. The more you have, the more you will have.
Our productivity will keep improving. I can write software faster and better than ever. I can research prior work with ease. I can ask fancy mathematical questions on the Web and get answers in minutes. Instead of investing back this productivity into more silly work, we need to get smarter:
- Focus on the essential: programming great software, writing a fun book, a set of inspiring lecture notes or an insightful article.
- Automate, reduce or delegate. Reduce is best: doing fewer things is cool!
- A focus on money or on personal disputes makes you stupid. Yet, that’s where success often takes you. Watch out!
- Airplanes pollute. Travel takes you away from your family. Cars pollute and make you fat. Do you need all that junk?
(The first three are essential. The last one seems like an injection of other aspects of lifestyle into what should be a narrow topic.)