Welcome to the monthly curatorial issue of Path Nine — unoriginal original content for the curious, contrarian, and creative.
My apologies for the delayed newsletter — as you’ll see below, I’ve been quite busy and haven’t the bandwidth to be a good blogger. I have some interesting stuff for the newsletter coming up soon, so stay tuned.
This week’s curatorial issue bends towards remote work and productivity; two topics that are consistently important. In the coming weeks, we’ll be exploring more decision-making techniques and ideas that will help shape 2021.
For now, let’s get down to business.
Before we begin: If you’re reading this but haven’t joined the Path Nine community, hit the button below to join the entrepreneurs, solopreneurs, architects, psychologists, designers, and engineers that read Path Nine to learn the strategies reshaping our work and lives
In Case You Missed It…
If you’re new to Path Nine, here’s what you may have missed:
- Parkinson’s Law of Productivity — What it is and why it matters for work-life balance. Parkinson’s Law is a term first coined by Cyril Northcote Parkinson in a fantastic essay he penned for the Economist in 1955. What has since been aptly named Parkinson’s Law refers to the maxim that work expands to fill the time allotted. In other words, the work required to complete a task automatically adjusts to fill the time we initially allocated.
- Buffett’s 5/25 Rule — How to increase focus and minimize burnout. Of the many decision-making frameworks these legendary investors used, one, in particular, stands out — the 5/25 rule. The 5/25 rule is simple: make a list of 25 goals and then narrow it down to the 5 most important. Ready to give it a try? Click here to use the tool.
- Remote Boundary Management Styles — Four methods for creating your optimal work-life balance. Finding work-life balance is uncharacteristically difficult when there isn’t a natural physical distance between work and life. But boundary management is no longer optional. In this article, I break down the four boundary management styles and how you can use them to create balance.
What I’m Working On
As I said, I’ve been quite busy. These days, my world is consumed by on key theme: Building. Here’s a brief list of some things I’m building.
A Consulting Practice
The internet is a big place. I like to think of it like the Louvre. For every particular interest, there’s a room filled with fascinating artifacts to fill your soul. Interested in learning more about the best grilled cheese? There’s a subreddit for it.
No matter what you’re interested in, there’s likely already an audience — you just have to find them!
As our work continues to migrate online, our access to these niche communities will grow. As someone who’s worked as a consultant for years, I can tell you this: consultants will never die. Whether you’re employed full-time or already on your own, building a consultative practice is a great way to ready yourself for the future and create career flexibility.
How to get started? Start your practice by easing into it with a coaching practice. Practice is the app I’d recommend.
I really enjoy writing. In fact, I enjoy it so much that I joined a program called OnDeck Writing Fellowship. This is the last week and, well, I’m a bit sad. It has been an incredible experience that’s helped improve my writing and introduced me to some very talented writers. Though the program is over, the fun doesn’t have to end.
Best resources for community building: RosieLand. Each week, community expert, Rosie Sherry ‘geeks out’ on all things community building. Even if you’re not interested in building a community, it’s a fantastic read packed with great resources.
We’ve officially moved into the early stages of building a home. This is both insanely exciting and deeply terrifying. As someone who studied architecture, I feel more comfortable than most. But I’m not immune to the curse of knowledge. As I learn more, I’ll share these insights with you in case they can be helpful.
If you’re also interested in building a home, there are some great resources to help you get started:
My article consumption is at an all-time low. It’s not because I don’t want to read. It’s because I find it difficult to read when I’m in the same physical location, where I can’t explore the world around me. In the spirit of isolation, here are some reads I’ve enjoyed recently.
- LinkedIn’s Alternate Universe — How the professional platform makes networking weird. I LOVED this guest post from Fadeke Adegbuyi. Most people hate LinkedIn — and for good reason. The product creates influencer-like behaviors that drive likes and “engagement” but does little to facilitate actual networking. If you’ve ever seen those rockstar recruiter posts or annoying growth guru posts, you’ll enjoy every word in this article.
- We're Never Going Back — The future of work is remote, and companies don't really have a choice. If you’ve read any of my writing, you know that I’m what people call a “remote advocate.” Despite how ridiculous that title is, I guess it’s accurate. Packy McCormick wrote an article that did a great job outlining why companies aren’t going back, and I think everyone should read it. Also: if you missed it, check out my Off-Campus Crusaders article for a similar take on remote work.
- Work-from-home gift ideas from Satish Kanwar. I’m not in the habit of providing gift guides, but since we’ll all likely be working from home for the next six months (+), I thought this could be helpful.
In our last curatorial issue, I sent out a request, asking my readers to vote on the subjects that interest them most. Votes are still trickling in, but the response was overwhelming weighted toward the following three topics:
- Decision-Making and Mental Models
- Money and Personal Finance
- Health & Fitness
As it turns out, you all know me quite well. Going forward, you can expect to see more articles about each of the subjects listed above. Although, there’s always a chance that I may expand the topics, always with the goal of providing readers with valuable ways to meet our shared goals of working less, earning more, and living better.
Trends I’m Thinking About
With all of the building I’m doing, a few ideas seem to be rattling around on a daily basis:
- What does remote learning mean for families and education systems? I started thinking about this in 2019, and keep coming back to it. As someone who will soon be leaving a dense urban environment, I’m forced to project what it will mean to not just live and work in a remote world, but educate.
- Is tech pushing us away from tech? As I mentioned above, remote work opens so many digital pathways that sometimes it’s important to close a few in order to create digital boundaries. For me, I’ve been playing the guitar as a way to balance my screen time. If digital interfaces become our primary modality, what does this mean for the physical interactions and interests in our lives?
- Why are we obsessed with complexity? Tools like Roam Research and Notion are great, but they make users do all the work. Why? Because people love productivity. And these tools sell productivity. And we eat it up. We spend hours rebuilding dashboards, managing data entry, and creating workflows. All the while telling ourselves that we’re productive. We need tools that reduce complexity instead of creating it.
That’s it for this week. As always, if you like the content, please do me a favor and share it with your friends — this newsletter runs on overpriced whiskey and reader engagement.
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Thanks for reading, and see you next week,
— Kevin K. (@kkirkpatrick)