Three or Four Hours

Liked Three or Four Hours by Oliver Burkeman (

There aren’t many hard-and-fast rules of time management that apply to everyone, always, regardless of situation or personality (which is why I tend to emphasise general principles instead). But I think there might be one: you almost certainly can’t consistently do the kind of work that demands serious mental focus for more than about three or four hours a day.

A good reminder!

Mental Health Work

A Life with More Buffer

Liked Create a More Spacious Life by Leo Baubata (Zen Habits)

Contemplating on how I want to live recently, I became clear in the last few months that I needed to create more space in my life.

That’s what I want: more mental space. I’m lucky to already have a shortened work week, and think everyone should get a thirty hour work week, but I have so many personal projects and household responsibilities I hardly ever get a real day off. I still struggle with taking a full day to myself, because I’m ever conscious of the neverending to-do list.

I’m taking today off to rest and recover from NaNoWriMo. I worked too hard yesterday, and the last three weeks of work have been ridiculously busy, and last night I hit a wall. I knocked a brand new bottle of CBD over, breaking and spilling $40 of oil down the drain, and I was furious with myself. DH talked me off the ledge but it was clear I needed a chill day.

See also: Why you need white space in your daily routine

“Time scarcity is like kryptonite for creativity. If we want to create an environment that nourishes innovation and imagination, we need to build quiet counterpoints into our daily rhythm.”

Jocelyn K. Glei


LARPing Our Workday

Quoted LARPing your job by Anne Helen Petersen (Culture Study)

A few weeks ago, I went on one of my favorite podcasts — The Ezra Klein Show — to talk about burnout, workism, and our relationship to labor. In our conversation, I invoke the idea of “LARPing” your job, a phrase my partner uses to describe the way we try and show evidence that LOOK, OVER HERE, I AM WORKING. (‘LARP’= Live Action Role Playing).

“We’re performing, in other words, largely for ourselves. Justifying to ourselves that we deserve the place that we’ve found ourselves. Justifying to ourselves that writing for the internet is a vocation that deserves steady payment. At heart, this is a manifestation of a general undervaluing of our own work: we still navigate the workplace as if getting paid to produce knowledge means we’re getting away with something, and have to do everything possible to make sure no one realizes they’ve made a massive mistake.”

Anne Helen Petersen

I have struggled with this a lot since working from home during the pandemic.