Time Rich
eBook - ePub

Time Rich

Do Your Best Work, Live Your Best Life

Steve Glaveski

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eBook - ePub

Time Rich

Do Your Best Work, Live Your Best Life

Steve Glaveski

Angaben zum Buch

Über dieses Buch

Recover wasted time and start living your fullest life Most of us wouldn't dare give away our money, but when it comes to time, we let it go without a second thought. Business and creative professionals often dedicate long hours to their work, with little to show for it. We take on more than we should, we treat everything as urgent, and we attend pointless meetings. This book can help you see where you might be sabotaging your own goals. Time Rich helps you identify where you're losing personal time and mismanaging career time. Through practical productivity tools and techniques, author and entrepreneur Steve Glaveski will show you how to be more productive at work, have more time to pursue your personal and life goals, and build a culture that supports achieving objectives without risking burnout. Learn how to: ‱Identity how you are wasting time
‱Manage your attention, get into the zone and stay there longer
‱Prioritise, automate and outsource tasks
‱Optimise your mind and body Time Rich is a blueprint for recovering your work hours, achieving more and spending time where it matters most.
'Steve Glaveski understands something that few leaders have figured out: it's possiÂŹble to do less and get more done. This book offers a blueprint for working smarter.'
Adam Grant, New York Times best-selling author of Originals and Give and Take, and host of the chart-topping TED podcast WorkLife 'Time isn't money; it's something of far more value. Glaveski makes the case that we ought to be protecting our time much more than we product other resources. And best of all, he shows you how.'
David Burkus, author of Under New Management 'Steve Glaveski offers countless ways to get more out of each day by being Time Rich.'
Nir Eyal, best-selling author of Hooked and Indistractable 'Time Rich by Steve Glaveski makes a compelling argument for abandoning the archaic historical artefact of an 8 hour work-day (or any other arbitrary sum of time) as outmoded and irrelevant to the way we live and do our best work today. Glaveski offers both big ideas and specific techniques to contain or eliminate such time-snatching demons as meetings, email and social media. Reclaim the value of your time by forsaking the management of it and learning instead to manage energy, efficiency and attention — inputs with far greater impact on output and outcomes, not to mention quality of life.'
Whitney Johnson, award-winning author of Disrupt Yourself and Build an A-Team 'Time Rich is a fascinating look into why we're all so 'busy' — and how to gain back our most precious resource. Whether you're a beginner or a seasoned productivity geek, this book will change your life.'
Jonathan Levi, author, podcaster, and founder of SuperHuman Academy 'A very worthwhile read for ambitious professionals to achieve that elusive work-life holy grail: being present and engaged at home without sacrificing anything on the work front — and even, perhaps, becoming more productive than you ever thought you could be.'
Andy Molinsky, award-winning author of Global Dexterity and Reach

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Part 1
How we got here

American poet Maya Angelou once said that ‘if you don’t know where you’ve come from, you don’t know where you’re going.’
In order to better navigate the world around us, we must understand the origin story and the mechanics of the system we find ourselves in. Only then can we fully appreciate its shortcomings and readjust to change course.

Origins of the eight-hour workday

Mass production, the spinning jenny and the steam engine. These are hallmarks of the Industrial Revolution, a time when humankind arguably took great strides forward.
This era has been broken into two stages by historians. The first stage, from 1770 to 1870, brought about a shift away from agriculture thanks to steam, iron and water. The second stage spanned from 1870 through to World War I in 1914, which featured the advent of electricity, the internal combustion engine, oil and steel.
Life expectancy among children increased dramatically, with the under-five mortality rate in London decreasing from 745 in 1730 to 318 in 1810.
Street lighting, drinkable water, drainage and sewage disposal became commonplace in developed economies, leading to better sanitation, general health of the populace and a downturn in disease.
The increase in population density in urban areas, as well as the economic shifts of the time, paved the way for an increase in schools and literacy, mostly because the biggest hurdle to education had been overcome — proximity.
Numerous other game-changing innovations emerged from the Industrial Revolution. Among them are:
  • James Watt developed the steam engine in the 1760s, which paved the way for rapid advancements in factory output as well as both commercial and passenger transportation.
  • Edmund Cartwright gave us the power loom in 1787, enabling mass production of cloth.
  • Richard Trevithick invented the steam train in 1806, followed by George Stephenson’s Rocket in 1829.
  • Abraham Darby developed smelting iron, enabling higher production of iron for buildings and the railways that Stephenson’s Rocket would travel on.
  • Thomas Telford and John McAdam developed tarmacked roads, with strong foundations, a smooth surface and proper drainage.
  • Michael Faraday, Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla’s work combined to give us the electricity we know today, convertible to heat, light and motion.
  • Alexander Graham Bell gave us the telephone in 1876, and Guglielmo Marconi the radio in 1895.
During this time of transformation, middle, upper and aristocratic classes rode the wave of improved economic and living standards. Astonishingly, while it took four days to travel from London to Manchester in 1700, by 1870 the trip had been reduced to just four hours. This isn’t much longer than the two-hour trip passengers can expect aboard a National Rail train today.
Humanity obtained a vastly more significant understanding of the world, thanks to the many industrial and scientific discoveries of the time.
All of this progress came at a cost to the environment (including the depletion of natural resources, increased air and water pollution, and an increase in fossil fuel consumption), to the working class and to the poor.
The latter had to contend with grim, hazardous and monotonous working conditions, and miserable, disease-prone living conditions.

From the cradle to the coal mine

Working-class children weren’t spared either. Children as young as four worked long and dangerous hours in production factories and coal mines where they would crawl through tunnels that were too small for adults. There, they would drag carts weighing 70 kilograms by a chain attached to their waist for distances of up to 50 metres (see figure 1.1).
A sketch of a child dragging a coal cart in a tunnel.
Figure 1.1: a child dragging a coal cart in a tunnel
Source: The Print Collector / Alamy Stock Photo
The British Royal Commission of Inquiry into Children’s Employment (1842) presented the following interviews to Parliament, painting a vivid picture of the horrific conditions.
I have been driving horses since I was seven but for one year before that I looked after an air door. I would like to go to school but I am too tired as I work for twelve hours.
Philip Davies, aged 10, Dinas Colliery, Rhondda
We are doorkeepers in the four-foot level. We leave the house before six each morning and are in the level until seven o’clock and sometimes later. We get 2 p a day and our light costs us 2Âœ p a week. Rachel was in a day school and she can read a little. She was run over by a dram a while ago and was home ill a long time, but she has got over it.
Elizabeth Williams, aged 10 and Mary and Rachel Enoch, 11 and 12 respectively, Dowlais Pits, Merthyr
When I got my fingers fast it was awful. I went through so much pain and I was only a little girl and, of course I couldn’t work. I lost four fingers in all 
 that was the end of my career in cotton.
Oldham cotton mill worker
Most children weren’t insured until the age of 16, so if they were injured and couldn’t work, they either had to find another job or fight for compensation, which they couldn’t afford to do.
Iconic photographs taken by Lewis Hine, a US sociologist and member of the National Child Labor Committee during the 1910s powerfully captured the plight of working children in the US south (see figure 1.2).
Image of a young boy working as a coal miner, c. 1910.
Figure 1.2: a young boy working as a coal miner, c. 1910
Source: Lewis Hine
It’s estimated that one-fifth of Britain’s textile industry workers were under the age of 15 in the 1860s, while two-thirds of the cotton mill workers were children.
Similarly, in the United States an estimated 1.7 million children were employed in industrial roles at the dawn of the 20th century.
Karl Marx believed that capitalism was inherently unfair and was an outspoken critic of child labour. The socialist philosopher and revolutionary famously said that US capital was financed by the ‘capitalized blood of children’.

The monotony of work

Textiles was the dominant industry of the Industrial Revolution. Workers toiled away in dirty factories to produce varieties of cotton, wool and silk. The spinning jenny, invented by James Hargreaves in 1764, helped textile workers to produce yarn, and was to textiles what the printing press was to books.
If it wasn’t a textiles factory, then it was a coal mine, a steel mill, a glass, cement or chemical factory, or laying the foundations for our roads and railroads.
The Second Agricultural Revolution dovetailed with the Industrial Revolution. It was characterised by new techniques such as crop rotation, selective breeding, better transport, and, of course, economies of scale from larger farms. For the purposes of this book, we will consider these two revolutions synonymously as they each represented a technological upheaval and mass production and they occurred simultaneously.
The shift in agricultural practices meant more production from fe...