The Nine Lives theory of doing work that matters
One of the many reasons people get exhausted at ‘real jobs’, especially in a corporate environment, is the amount of ‘one-off’ work that is done. In other words, work that is used for one purpose, one moment in time, and never used again.
This is endemic in the corporate world, where the idea that filling a nine hour day with work is defined as doing good work. It would be so nice if more employers worked on project completion and re-use metrics rather than hours worked. Only basing ‘productivity’ on hours worked enforces the idea of wasting time.
So here’s a potential new way to look at all work and projects you do: can you get nine lives out of it? Call it the nine lives theory.
Can you take the effort and creativity and energy you put into a deliverable, and reuse that work nine times with minimal or no re-tooling?
The beautiful thing is this: going into the project, you don’t need to know what those nine uses are going to be. The key is to keep the life expectancy of the work in mind during the creation of it. This will help ensure that your efforts and energy are not disposable but rather scalable.