Everything is critical!

Sol Orwell, an entrepreneur who builds naps into his workflow (as I do):

It seems counter-intuitive that working less is more productive.

Indeed, it does, but it comes down to working smart instead of hard. Sol is writing about Parkinson’s Law (“work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion”), but the Pareto principle (80-20 rule) is probably just as relevant: 80% of what matters is covered by the top 20% of your to-do list.

Except the top 20% of my to-do list fills every day to the brim. I never seem to do anything anymore that isn’t high priority, time-sensitive, and urgent. There are lower priority things in my lists — lots of them! — but I never seem to get to them. My entire to-do list is effectively “critical.” Parkinson’s Law chip chip chipping away at my life.