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Relative income

uses two variables: the dolar and time, usualy hours. The whole per year concept is arbitrary and makes
it easy to trick yourself. Lets look at the real trade. Jane Doe makes $100,000 per year, $2,000 for each
of 50 weeks per year, and works 80 hours per week. Jane Doe thus makes $25 per hour. John Doe makes
$50,000 per year, $1,000 for each of 50 weeks per year, but works 10 hours per week and hence makes
$100 per hour. In relative income, John is four times richer.

Parkinsons Law dictates that a task wil swel in (perceived) importance and complexity in relation to the
time alotted for its completion. It is the magic of the imminent deadline. If I give you 24 hours to
complete a project, the time pressure forces you to focus on execution, and you have no choice but to do
only the bare essentials. If I give you a week to complete the same task, its six days of making a
mountain out of a molehil. If I give you two months, God forbid, it becomes a mental monster. The end
product of the shorter deadline is almost inevitably of equal or higher quality due to greater focus.
This presents a very curious phenomenon. There are two synergistic approaches for increasing
productivity that are inversions of each other:
Limit tasks to the important to shorten work time (80/20).
Shorten work time to limit tasks to the important (Parkinsons Law).

At least three times per day at scheduled times, he had to ask himself the folowing question:
Am I being productive or just active?
Charney captured the essence of this with lessabstract wording:
Am I inventing things to do to avoid the imortant?

He eliminated al of the activities he used as crutches and began to focus on demonstrating results instead
of showing dedication. Dedication is often just meaningless work in disguise. Be ruthless and cut the fat.
In general terms, there are but two questions:
What 20% of sources are causing 80% of my problems and unhappiness?
What 20% of sources are resulting in 80% of my desired outcome and happiness?
Who are the 20% of people who produce 80% of your enjoyment and propel you forward, and which
20% cause 80% of your depression, anger, and second-guessing?

Positive friends versus timeconsuming friends: Who is helping versus hurting you, and how do
you increase your time with the former while decreasing or eliminating your time with the
Who is causing me stress disproportionate to the time I spend with them? What wil happen if I
simply stop interacting with these people? Fear-setting helps here.
When do I feel starved for time? What commitments, thoughts, and people can I eliminate to fix
this problem?
There should never be more than two missioncritical items to complete each day. Never. It just isnt
necessary if theyre actualy high-impact. If you are stuck trying to decide between multiple items that al
seem crucial, as happens to al of us, look at each in turn and ask yourself, If this is the only thing I
accomplish today, wil I be satisfied with my day? )

The world ismflat - Tom Friedman, on outsourcing to china and india.