Your Life Hack Is Just Having Staff

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I’m going to collect on a story we saw in a Wall Street Journal, though customarily since it’s standard of a whole genre of recommendation offering by abounding and absolute people, many of them white men. It’s a 2016 first-person letter by Brian Scudamore, a creator of 1-800-GOT-JUNK, called “Why This CEO Takes Every Friday Off.” Scudamore explains that he “recharges” on Fridays, and spends Mondays “just thinking.” He offers this as career advice:

Whether we take a Think Day or a Free Day (or both) a destiny of believe work isn’t about people sitting in front of computers and meeting-room tables.

Glad that’s solved for everyone. Go ask your trainer for three-day weekends and a Think Day.

I don’t wish to dump too many on Scudamore here. He addresses his recommendation to “leaders,” so it’s reduction that he expects each worker to work 4 days a week, and some-more that he assumes executives have warranted a privilege. (Scudamore says he customarily started holding Fridays off after blazing himself out operative twelve days a week.) A association deputy tells me that staff have 5 weeks of vacation a year, and a “go dark” vacation policy.

But Scudamore doesn’t residence such delegate concerns in his piece. He never mentions a staff who keep operative as he takes off each Friday to “do what we love: skiing with my children, cooking, training languages and biking.” The square doesn’t contend “give your employees some-more giveaway time,” it says “give yourself some-more giveaway time.” No matter how many giveaway time he hands his employees, that’s not what he’s perplexing to spread. He’s perplexing to widespread a robe of execs holding their possess day off.

Maybe Scudamore’s warranted his Fridays. He worked his donkey off for years, and now he can means to let a business run itself 20% of a time. And he sounds like a good boss! But he’s not revelation people how to get to a top, usually how to take it easy when you’re already adult there. Only a many absolved people have a choice of following his advice. Scudamore, and a Wall Street Journal, won’t tell we how to remonstrate your trainer to let we take off Fridays. They’ll usually tell your trainer to take off, and your trainer will rest on we to collect adult a slack. Sorry, sucker!


Scudamore didn’t invent this kind of absolved advice. Business blogs and magazines have always breathlessly reported a vacation habits of a abounding and powerful. And they mostly destroy to puncture deeper on usually how many people have to work harder so these executives can be “efficient” with their time.

Exploiting payoff is a whole basement of optimization guru Tim Ferriss’s ultra-capitalist book The 4-Hour Workweek, that explains how to make your income work for you. But “your income works for you” always means “some other bad schmuck works for you.” It’s not globally, or even nationally, scalable: The 4-hour workweek wouldn’t work if everybody did it, since it’s not formed on adding value, though on extracting it. Ferriss is fundamentally indicating out a bug in a entrepreneur system.

But during slightest Ferriss is indeed training people how to go from a reduction absolved position to a larger one, mostly by bypassing confirmed energy structures. Much “leadership” recommendation is usually about extracting some-more value out of a payoff we already have. It beam even worse than Ferriss’s advice. And it reads as an insult to a rest of us.


We’re not trusting of this during Lifehacker. we now run a How we Work column, that customarily facilities people in assign of a team, or a whole company. The approach we framed a questions stirred a subjects to charge their capability usually to themselves. So we combined a question: “Who are a people who assistance we get things done, and how do we rest on them?”

Unfortunately, a lot of hacks rest on some kind of privilege. Many customarily work if we have adequate money, or adequate time or freedom. But we work tough not to give recommendation that relies on white privilege, and to indicate out when a penetrate competence means difficulty for a use employee. Because hacking shouldn’t be a zero-sum game.

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Posted by on Jan 12 2018. Filed under Gadgets. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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