Constraints and the Four Day Work Week

Tue, May 9, 2006

Simplicity Rules

Artificial constraints can help us by tricking us into thinking they are actual constraints. Some common examples:

  • Set your clock ahead ten minutes, so you’ll always be on time.
  • Transfer money from your checking account to savings, so you won’t spend it.
  • Pretend a project is due a day sooner, because you work better under pressure.

Similarly, the POWER HOUR was once part of my daily routine. I sometimes did as much during that hour as the rest of the day. I know someone who keeps a kitchen timer by his desk to encourage short bouts of heightened productivity.

Today, Ryan Carson brings us The Four-Day Week:

The problem wasn’t a time issue, it was a mental issue. I knew I had a whole week to finish my work, so I spread it out over five (or seven!) days. If I knew I only had four days to finish a whole week of work, it would’ve motivated me to get things done more efficiently.

The Goog’s VP of Products, Marissa Mayer says constraints can shape and focus problems, leading to truly creative solutions. Indeed, this is the whole idea behind aiming for simplicity, even though it can sometimes seem lazy and others think simple is wrong.

1 Comments For This Post

  1. Mike Duffy Says:

    What?! No more POWER HOUR?

    So, are you following Ryan’s lead?

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