The Quintuple-Peak Work Day
Tippets #172: Elon + Twitter, GoTo, books, and more. Enjoy!
A warm welcome to you new readers who are getting this for the first time. Thank you for letting me be a small part of your week. As a reminder, Tippets is where I share what's on my mind and a curated assortment of tidbits and snippets (aka. tippets!) from around the web, usually centered around technology, startups, and psychology!
Microsoft recently shared findings from a new study examining the changing working habits of white-collar / knowledge workers during the pandemic. The major headline: the 9-5 is largely a thing of the past.
…researchers suggest that the 9-to-5 workday is fading in an age of remote and hybrid work and more flexible hours. That pattern was first spotted early in the pandemic, when Microsoft Teams chats outside the typical workday increased more than in any other time segment, particularly between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m.
The second major headline? A new work ‘shift’ has emerged for almost 1/3 of workers.
Newer data suggests the trend is here to stay. Traditionally, knowledge workers had two productivity peaks in their workday: before lunch and after lunch. But when the pandemic sent so many people into work-from-home mode, a third peak emerged for some in the hours before bedtime. Microsoft researchers have begun referring to this phenomenon as a “triple peak day.”
Reading the study, I found myself nodding along like a bobblehead. As a parent of two kids under four, I am firmly in the triple-peak day camp. Or, perhaps more appropriately, the “quintuple-peak day” camp.
Below is a chart from the Microsoft piece that I have modified for accuracy.
My day typically starts at some point between 5:30a and 6:00a. What used to be my phone beeping at me to get to the gym is now my 3.5-year-old smacking me in the face to get him some water. Kid Peak 1 starts.
My wife and I begin our daily morning ballet routine, a complex set of steps with very specific objectives. Like two sleep-deprived whirling dervishes, we pirouette around the house as we go down the checklist: feed and change the kids, make and pack kids' lunches, make and inhale coffee, unload the dishwasher, and avoid calling out something ridiculous too loudly should one of us is on an early morning call.
Finally, 8:30a arrives with our nanny, the lynchpin that holds our family together, out go the kids, and Work Peak 1 begins.
At some point in the day I will contemplate, if not actually visit, the gym. Lunch will be eaten at my desk, and Work Peak 2 begins.
At 5:30p, Work Peak 2 shuts down, and Kid Peak 2 begins (aka. the ballet resumes post an extended intermission). We make dinner, attempt to exhaust the kids, eat dinner, get kids bathed and teeth brushed, have some reading time, and turn lights out by 8:00p. By 8:30p, we're confident that we're in the clear - all children's bladders are empty, and there will be no more requests for "just one more story, pleeeeeease" - and Kid Peak 2 ends, and Work Peak 3 begins.
Having kids has undoubtedly been a forcing function for prioritization, but without Work Peak 3, I find it hard to progress down my to-do list. Work Peak 3 is usually devoid of meetings, and when the house (and my mind) is quietest. During these hours I accomplish most of my 'thinking' tasks, and produce work product that extends beyond emails and Zoom calls. It is not ideal - sleep is still at a premium - but it is how I find myself able to manage.
While I don't love that 30% of workers also seem to need the third work peak, I take solace in the idea that 70% don't seem to need this time. Maybe there's hope to flatten this peak after all?
For my other triple or quintuple peak readers out there: any tips/tricks that have helped you effectively manage your peaks? Reply in the comments or to me directly!
Tippets from Around the Web:
Matt Levine is one of my favorite writers on the internet. Covering finance, he's a former Goldman banker, M&A lawyer, and a clerk for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit. He also happens to be hilarious, quick-witted, and very articulate. So, of all the Elon Musk and Twitter articles out there, I wanted to share this one by Matt Levine. You'll leave more informed on what is actually happening (tl;dr - who the hell knows) and will undoubtedly have laughed out loud at least once.
Still I imagine that Twitter's bankers at Goldman Sachs will sit down with Musk's bankers at Morgan Stanley and Goldman will say “so uh where's the financing coming from” and Morgan Stanley will say “oh the financing is in this can” and hand Goldman a can and Goldman will open the can and a bunch of fake snakes will pop out. “AAAHHH,” Goldman will scream, and then they will chuckle and say “oh Elon, you got us again” and everyone will have a good laugh. Because, again, uniquely among public-company CEOs, Elon Musk has in the past pretended he was going to take a public company private with pretend financing! I am not saying that he’s joking now; I am just saying he’s the only person who has ever made this particular joke in the past.
Speaking of Twitter, according to a recent report, TikTok's advertisement revenue is likely to triple in 2022 to more than $11B. Sales at that scale put the Chinese-founded social network with over 1 billion active users driving more sales than Twitter and Snap combined.
Teddy bears shopping for groceries in Ancient Egypt
An astronaut playing basketball with cats in outer space
Indonesian super app GoTo (fka. Go-Jek) went public this week. The company raised $1.1B, and trade at a market cap that hovers around $30B. While I am unaffiliated with the company, I was still proud to watch the business achieve this milestone. I spent my entire childhood growing up in Jakarta. I went to school and am friends with a number of the company's founders and current/former executives and employees. What the company has accomplished over the last 10+ years is incredible. I hope it further cements in the minds of investors and entrepreneurs that Indonesia is a place where exceptional companies can be built, and attracts more fantastic talent to the region.
Regular readers know that I love to read. And while I do most of my reading on my Kindle, turning the pages of a physical book is still my preference. Given the resurgence of physical bookstores and surging physical book sales, I'm certainly not alone. So, this article about how a book is made is for my fellow physical book lovers out there. Take a click and watch how the magic happens - from the jacket to the printing and binding to boxing - and then pick up your favorite book, find that one nook you love, and escape for a while.
Quote I’m thinking about: “Your ability to control your thoughts—treat it with respect. It’s all that protects your mind from false perceptions—false to your nature, and that of all rational beings.” - Marcus Aurelius
If you enjoyed this issue, doctors recommend you click the button below and get Tippets by Taps in your inbox every week. It’s good for your health!
Please share what you’re reading! If you have insight on anything mentioned above or have any interesting links/papers/books that you think would be worth sharing in future issues of Tippets, please reach out! Click here, reply to this email, or DM me on Twitter at @taps.
How did you like this week’s Tippets? Your feedback helps me make this better every issue.