Greg Morris

Designer, Pretend Photographer, Dad

There Will Always Be More Work

Like most people I know, I am constantly worried about getting through my task list. At times in the last couple of years I’ve been absolutely buried with no way out. I’m always desperate for ways to maximise my time and ‘hack’ my way to getting more done. Judging by half of the YouTube videos I am suggested, I am not the only one, but there is a surprising fix.

I must preface this post by saying that these thoughts are 100% inspired by the brilliant book 4,000 weeks by Oliver Burkeman. A book I descovered by complete accident after stumbling on some of his blog posts. There’s also a certain amount of presumption going on here, we don’t all control our task lists, but we can all control the way we approach them. So, I feel as if there are loads of areas of life that these general thoughts can be applied to.

When it comes to work, it isn’t often the actual tasks that cause the issues. It is the stress of having so much to do and never enough time to do it. The way of the world seems to be stuffing more and more things into less and less time. It doesn’t matter if the things you have to get done are decided externally or your deadlines are internal, the end of your task list will never come.

There will always be more work to do. Things that you could get done, and jobs that are waiting for gaps in your time. Companies expect more and more from their workers, and getting towards the end of your list only leads to more tasks. It is only when you realise that you can only get done what you can the real freedom comes.

Are you still under the illusion that you’ll one day reach a point in your life where you no longer have any problems? — Sam Harris

There is absolutely no point stressing about getting to the end because modern life is a treadmill you can never get off. Much like “inbox zero” only leads to more emails, all the modern productivity punchlines just lead to more work. By embracing the fact that the end will never arrive, you can relax, knock as many tasks off as you can and get some downtime.

No revelation will happen, but the freedom from feeling guilty for the tasks you complete just leads to a happier life. It might lead you to get better work done, too.

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