saving time featured

No such thing as saving time

Everywhere we go, we are offered opportunities to save time. We are proffered a panoply of shortcuts, lifehacks, and end runs that—if only properly applied—will somehow allow us to accrue a surplus of that most valuable resource: time. This is of course total bullshit. Time is so valuable precisely because we can’t save it. I know what you’re thinking: “Yeah, everybody knows you can’tliterally save time. It’s just a figure of speech. Stop being pedantic.” And while I freely admit that I am more than passing familiar with a little pedantry now and again, I do think it’s important that… Continue reading No such thing as saving time

burying the lede featured image

On Email, Upside-Down Pyramids, and Burying the Lede

“I don’t need more time. I need more deadlines.” —Duke Ellington In the world of journalism, they have something known as “burying the lede.” It is one of the cardinal sins of traditional “inverted pyramid”-style journalism, where you put the most important information at the top of the story, and increasingly less important details farther down (so, like an upside-down pyramid, where the top is the biggest part and the bottom is the smallest, hence the cool name). The “lede” is the lead paragraph, which should deliver the most important news in the story. “Burying the lede” is thus putting… Continue reading On Email, Upside-Down Pyramids, and Burying the Lede

asap culture

“As Soon As Possible” is Too Soon: Why ASAP Culture is Bad for Everybody

Our culture is spoiled by speed. We think nothing of transoceanic flights that cover distances in a matter of hours that 100 years ago would have taken months. On the Internet, we measure time by the millisecond, and quickly become frustrated when a webpage takes even a few seconds to load (ugh…that’s literally thousands of milliseconds!!) But perhaps no part of our culture is as obsessed with speed as the world of business (well, possibly NASCAR). Prompt attention is obviously an important part of every business, but because technology has enabled us to communicate across more and more space in… Continue reading “As Soon As Possible” is Too Soon: Why ASAP Culture is Bad for Everybody

the yin-yang of email featured

The Yin-Yang of Email

I take two steps forward/ I take two steps back, We come together/ ’cause opposites attract. —Paula Abdul Since time immemorial, our wisest sages and speakers of truth—Lao Tzu, Plato, Descartes, Paula Abdul—have observed that all of reality can be divided into two equal and oppositional forces: light and darkness, heat and cold, up and down, Jedi and the Sith. And while these forces are opposite, they are also complementary; true harmony can only be attained when they are brought into balance. The most famous representation of this perfect balance is the taijitu, the Ancient Chinese symbol of yin and… Continue reading The Yin-Yang of Email

Why Email Belongs in Your Toolbox

On the first day of an acting class I took in college, one of my classmates asked our teacher what “school” we would be learning. The Method, like little Bancrofts and Brandos? Or maybe the Meisner technique, repeating our lines to each other over and over until they lost all meaning? My teacher shook his head. “If I were teaching you to be a mechanic,” he said, “I wouldn’t only teach you how to use a wrench and then say ‘go and tell people you’re a Wrench mechanic.’ What good would that be? Sometimes a wrench is useful; sometimes it… Continue reading Why Email Belongs in Your Toolbox