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Reblogged:Crow Space Meets Division of Labor

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Fellow travelers will already know about a phrase that I hope to help popularize: crow space. (If not, the link gives a good explanation, although it is not crucial to getting the author's point below.)

They and most others will also be quite familiar with the concept of division of labor.

That said, many people do not have a firm grasp or appreciation of the concept of division of intellectual labor, which can and does include creative workers trading with less-skilled or more manual-type workers, in addition to each other.

This morning, I ran into a great, short summary of how important such a division of labor is to thought workers, who often underappreciate the economic concept and just about as often haven't paid much attention to the interpersonal skills necessary to profit from applying it.

The below is from a short blog post on the importance of surrounding oneself with the right people:
No. Not that kind of trifle! (Image by Annie Spratt, via via Unsplash, license.)
If you're working hard on really complicated and important stuff, stuff that require that your brain is "on" in an almost endless stream of thought, such that you cannot take a shower, or a walk, or even go to the toilet without thinking about some of the problems you're trying to solve, you cannot at the same time be bothered with all the "tiny trifles" of life. It's not that all the "tiny trifles" aren't important too, it's just that you cannot do both.

Either you're busy, trying to solve difficult and important problems, and someone else helps you with all the "tiny trifles", or you deal with all the trifles yourself, but then you simply cannot, no matter how much you wish you could, deal with the brain twisting work too.

You need to surround yourself with just the right people, whether it's a business partner, or a spouse, or someone else. If each person is not carrying their part of the load, even if it's something as simple as cooking dinner, then you're doomed to failure.

It's even worse if the importance of what you're doing isn't understood by such people. Then they will, when you're busy and working hard, disturb you with all the things which they are supposed to handle. [bold added]
Re-read that last paragraph, because that's where choosing poorly is worse than trying to do it all.

I pride myself on hiring well, but that last paragraph really hit me for some reason.

I remembered examples of past problems I had, with people around me distracting me by things that wouldn't even be on the radar if they weren't around. They weren't my hires in the sense that I myself was paying them to do a job, but they were in the sense that I wasn't taking more comprehensive care of whom I was working with.

I'm still reflecting on that paragraph, and am glad I found it. I suspect it might help me detect a blind spot I need to account for...

And if it helps passers-by to the same, or profit in some other way, so much the better.

-- CAV

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