Rohit Mishra

Thoughts which don’t fit in 140 characters.

What Is Work?

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Harj Taggar, partner at Y Combinator,  wrote a post yesterday on how he got rid of his addiction to email by deleting the mail app on his phone. He says

The least obvious consequence has been the lengthening of my concentration span, even when I’m at my desk with easy access to my email. I’ve long realized that email is the biggest killer of my productivity e.g. if I’m trying to code I never stop to go and play video games but I did stop and check my email because I could justify it as work (“work” that is both significantly easier and provides a quicker dopamine hit than trying to solve a hard problem). But once I rid myself of the habit of checking email constantly on my phone, suddenly I had less of a habitual urge to check my email in general. It feels wonderful.

I believe this pseudo-work is the biggest obstacle for anyone trying to do something useful. I was a victim of this addiction myself. For a long time, I considered checking Techcrunch, Hacker News, Twitter as part of work.  It is not work. Nothing apart from the next item on your to-do list, Trello, Asana etc is work.

Do a favor to yourself. Stop believing in this broad definition of work.