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Almost three years in, we think it's safe to conclude that history will view the 2020's as "an interesting time to be alive." But a silver lining of these turbulent times has been the widespread rethinking about how work should "work." The resulting push toward previously-unthinkable levels of flexibility, empowerment and compensation has met with some friction, however. The resulting labor unrest, strikes, and (our favorite) the paradoxical threat of widespread layoffs amid historic staff shortages, has made a lot of us understandably anxious about our current and future jobs. In this episode, we discuss strategies for keeping your career and your sanity from going off the rails.Links to Topics Discussed in This Episode:1:01 - Rail workers push to strike. Here's why they're angry.9:08 - Timeline of strikes in 20229:59 - Alabama Miners Slam Corporate Media Blackout Of Struggle (video)10:30 - Striking Alabama coal miners refuse to pay $13.3 million in ordered damages17:45 - Great Apprehension: Majority of Americans ‘are fearful of losing their job,’ analyst says23:01 - How to Deal with Layoff Anxiety25:53 - Rumours and gossip demand continuous action by managers in daily working life Visit us at for the transcript to this episode. Check out some of our blog posts and other content while you’re there!
By now you've probably heard about "quiet quitting," the latest workplace trend to blow the minds of journalists and social media posters alike. This stunning act of rebellion involves employees doing the work they are paid to do. Seriously. That's what quiet quitting is. It's neither quiet nor quitting, but it's a movement nonetheless. The hoopla, of course, is about what these mutinous workers are NOT doing. They're not making charitable donations of their time and energy to their employers. They're not responding to work emails at their kids' birthday parties. They're not spending extra (unpaid) hours in the office as a matter of course. They're not viewing the contents of their job descriptions as "the bare minimum." And so, in solidarity with this movement, we present a stripped-down, "bare minimum" deep-dive into quiet quitting. Articles and Books Discussed in this Episode:What Is Quiet Quitting on TikTok?If Your Co-Workers Are ‘Quiet Quitting,’ Here’s What That MeansQuiet Quitting: Why Doing the Bare Minimum at Work Has Gone GlobalEmployees Say ‘Quiet Quitting’ Is Just Setting Boundaries. Companies Fear Long-Term EffectsA Look at 'Quiet Quitting' — and Whether It's a Good or Bad ThingThe Backlash to Quiet Quitting Smacks of Another Attempt by the Ruling Class to Get Workers Back Under Their Thumbs: Am I Wrong?Tessa West: Jerks at Work: Toxic Coworkers and What to Do About ThemVisit us at for the transcript to this episode. Check out some of our blog posts and other content while you’re there!
We've all seen the signs and memes. We've heard the cranky scorn from talking heads, business owners, politicians and old men yelling at clouds. No one (except them) wants to work anymore! Everyone (except them) is lazy! In this episode, we challenge the ironically lazy thinking behind these claims and ask those who feel this way to consider an alternative explanation: maybe people just don't want to work for you?Mentioned in this Episode:16:21 - A Brief History of Nobody Wants to Work Anymore21:18 - Why so few teenagers have jobs anymore24:40 - Exclusive: Hyundai subsidiary has used child labor at Alabama factoryVisit us at for the transcript to this episode. Check out some of our blog posts and other content while you’re there!
You asked us to talk more about four-day work weeks, we did you one better. Join us for a discussion with Charlotte Lockhart, founder and managing director of the 4 Day Week Global Foundation! With operations in North America, Australia, New Zealand, the UK and Europe, Charlotte and her husband, Andrew Barnes (author of The 4 Day Week), are at the literal forefront of this movement. If you’ve ever questioned the Monday-Friday, one-size-fits-all approach to work scheduling, we think you'll like what she has to say.Links to People and Publications Mentioned in this Episode:4 Day Week Global: 4dayweek.comCharlotte LockhartAndrew BarnesBook - The 4 Day Week by Andrew Barnes:PaperbackAudiobook (Audible)Audiobook (Audible UK)Visit us at and check out some of our blog posts and other content while you’re there!
With all the changes brought about by Covid-19, you might not be surprised to hear about a huge uptick in research on the effects of shortened work weeks. You might be surprised to hear that this sudden burst of scholarly interest began - and ended - in the 1970s. What did our (presumably) bell-bottomed forebears learn about the pros and cons of ditching the traditional five-day workweek? Why did it take a pandemic to rekindle our interest? Visit us at for the transcript to this episode. Check out some of our blog posts and other content while you’re there!
Busy Signals

Busy Signals


There is such a thing as "good" busyness - that baseline euphoria you feel when you're humming along, pummeling your to-do list like it owes you money. There's also such a thing as fake busyness - that absurd phenomenon where adults convene in an office and pretend to be doing important work stuff. Look over at your employees or coworkers. Which type of busyness do you see? Are you sure? Join us as we discuss the telltale signs of a culture that rewards fake busyness and some things managers can do to help employees focus on being productive instead of acting productive. Visit us at for the transcript to this episode. Check out some of our blog posts and other content while you’re there!
That's it! We're starting a church...Links to articles, episodes and topics discussed in this episode:0:30 - The U.S. tried permanent daylight saving time in the 1970s — then quickly rejected it2:10 - What Happened the Last Time the U.S. Tried to Make Daylight Saving Time Permanent?3:30 - The Nocturnals5:40 - Nixing Busyness with Niksen13:42 - We Put the Cult in Culture17:11 - Goldman Sachs wants workers back in office 5 days a week—‘a stampede’ of other companies could follow, experts say20:30 - Young Bankers Have an Absurd Work Life24:05 - Transcard 29:32 - Gen Z Does Not Dream of LaborVisit us at for the transcript to this episode. Check out some of our blog posts and other content while you’re there!
Every few months someone proclaims the death of this working-from-home silliness. Citing indisputably indisputable sources, they assure us that our long nightmare of comfort and efficiency is over. "Rejoice!" they tell us! All who toil in their comfy clothes under the scornful eye of their pet cat, "Buttons"...fear not! The commutes, cubicles, and in-person meetings that are the God-given right of every man, woman and child with at least an associates degree from a regionally accredited college or university will be yours again soon. But then someone invariably comes along with "comprehensive data" that "reflects the real world" and ruins the party. Alas, it's our sad duty to report new evidence that, once again, confirms our darkest fears: that every job and every employee is different and that cramming us all back into the one-size-fits-all world that recognized the sanctity of on-site work just ain't happening. Sigh. Links to People, Publications, and Podcasts Mentioned in This Episode:0:24 - John Martin, Ph.D., Wright State University0:27 - Fed-Up Managers Declare Wfh Is Over, as 77% Say They’d Fire You or Cut Your Pay for Not Coming Back to the Office1:04 - Asana Report: Anatomy of Work Global Index1:16 - Shady Stats and the Status Quo9:12 - Inflation and the Paradoxical Pay Raise15:15 - SHRM (Society for Human Research Management)25:36 - The Efficiency Paradox26:21 - BS Jobs28:09 - Manage Things, Lead People: The Curt Tueffert Interview30:22 - The "Year of Structure" Episodes: The Four-Day Work Week The Year of Gettin' S**t DoneVisit us at for the transcript to this episode. Check out some of our blog posts and other content while you’re there!
Resigners' Regrets

Resigners' Regrets


Been a whole lot of quitting goin' on these past couple years. Early on we celebrated triumphant stories of the over-worked and under-appreciated declaring that enough was enough. These days we're hearing less inspiring tales, where reasonably content employees change jobs and find that the greener pasture they sought was actually an algae-covered swamp. Join us as we lean heavily on internet dating metaphors to describe the simple tactics employees and employers can use to  look before they leap. Mentioned in This Episode:72 Percent of Workers Regret Resigning--and It's Not Their FaultWoman goes on Tinder date to get a lift to other man’s house during Uber strikeVisit us at for the transcript to this episode. Check out some of our blog posts and other content while you’re there!
Calling Out Kardashian

Calling Out Kardashian


Here at the Busyness Paradox, we share a deep and sincere commitment to not giving a rat's a** about the antics of the inexplicably famous. But we bear no ill will toward those who lean in to the meta-paradoxical wonderland of unearned success and fame derived from being famous. Except when the undisputed queen of this leisure class declares 51% of the population to be lazy dregs who "don't want to work." We don't know much about you Kim Kardashian, but we've got a bone to pick with you. Intermission Music: Track: My Best Friend  Music by https://www.fiftysounds.comMentioned in this Episode:Kim Kardashian Is Facing Backlash For Her "Advice For Women In Business"Visit us at for the transcript to this episode. Check out some of our blog posts and other content while you’re there!
Excessive busyness is bad, especially when you don't have enough of it. Not gonna lie, even we at “The Busyness Paradox” didn’t see that busyness paradox coming. Two researchers in France did, however, and we’re  joined by one of them! Dr. Ioana Lupu’s recently-published study shows how our relentless pursuit of “optimal busyness” - that euphoric, Goldilocks state of productivity that exists between being underworked and overwhelmed, and always seems juuust out of reach - can lead us down the path of burnout. Tune in to hear her insights on what employers and employees can do to avoid this sad fate and share your own thoughts with us at People, Papers and Paul’s Obscure French Film Recommendations in this Episode:00:26 - Dr. Ioana Lupu, ESSEC Business School00:45 - Dr. Joonas Rokka, emlyon Business School 00:46 - Feeling in Control: Optimal Busyness and the Temporality of Organizational Controls22:23 - Episode #22: The Efficiency Paradox44:20 - Ressources Humaines (Human Resources)Visit us at for the transcript to this episode. Check out some of our blog posts and other content while you’re there!
As the Business Paradox returns from a quick break, we take a few minutes to answer your questions, take stock of the Business Paradox's first 15 months of existence, and reflect on the time we started a heated hoodie cult.
This just in: A guy asked for a billion-dollar bonus. Late-breaking reports (from last week) indicate that it went...poorly. As always, The Busyness Paradox is nowhere near the action, bringing you our on-the-spot analysis of this ballsy Bolivian billionaire's brash beatdown (fine, "Bolivian-American" but we had a good thing going with that alliteration).Mentioned in this "breaking news" episode:Masayoshi Son - Founder, CEO and Chairman of SoftBank, CEO of Softbank MobileMarcelo Claure - CEO of  SoftBank Group International, COO of SoftBank Group Corporation (please don't ask us what all these different SoftBanks are all about)12:20 - Episode 13: We Put the Cult in Culture15:58 - Episode 34: Inflation and the Paradoxical Pay RaiseVisit to see this episode's transcript and webpage
What’s a paradoxical pay raise? It’s the kind where you get a raise and earn less than you did before. “Impossible!” you say? Odds are good you’ll soon think differently. On the one hand, companies big and small are socking away money to dole out raises in 2022. On the other, inflation is licking its lips, ready to devour those raises and go back for seconds. Join us as we discuss strategies for navigating this bumpy terrain with your buying power (mostly) intact. Mentioned in This Episode:7:33 - The Peter Schiff Show: Fed Unveils Field of Dreams Monetary Policy14:03 - Big Pay Raises Are Coming in 2022, So Make Your Game Plan Now
Believe it or not, there was a time when having house cats interrupt work meetings was considered weird. Alas, we’ve been doing this pandemic thing for almost two years now and things have changed. We decided it was a good time to get a boots-on-the-ground perspective on just what those changes look like and how real-world companies have adapted. Join us as we discuss the new world of leadership, sales, work/life-balance, Zoom mishaps and much more with guest Curt Tueffert, Vice President of Sales Development for DXP Enterprises, a $1 billion industrial distribution firm.People, Places and Things Mentioned in This Episode:Guest: Curt Tueffert (, Vice President of Sales Development, DXP Enterprises ( - Five Stones for Slaying Giants: Critical Success Factors for Business and Life27:40 - Episode #5: Chasing Productivity & Creativity in WFH Click here for the episode transcript and webpage
It’s time for one of our favorite new year’s traditions: blatantly ripping off another podcast’s new year’s tradition! Taking inspiration from the excellent Cortex show’s use of yearly themes, we take stock of our “Year of Structure” and look ahead to 2022’s theme. Join our discussion about how the “annual theme” approach can improve your work and non-work lives and let us know what wacky workplace topics you’d like us to dig into in the year ahead. Stuff Mentioned In This Episode:0:32 - Cortex Episode #123: 2022 Yearly Themes3:18 - Your Theme by CGP Gray8:28 - Omnifocus9:10 - Sanebox10:41 - Keyboard Maestro11:02 - Elgato Stream Deck19:36 - Episode #22 - The Efficiency Paradox22:48 - Getting Things Done22:53 - Episode #12 - Technology and Productivity: An Insider's Perspective (with guest Stephen Robles)26:20 - Incremental Improvements: Change Your Life One Small Step at a Time by Mike Brodsky26: 42 - The Compound Effect by Darren HardyVisit to view this episode's webpage and transcripts
*****BREAKING NEWS!!!******Your (sort of) regularly scheduled episode of The Busyness Paradox has been postponed so that we can bring you coverage of a stunning development unfolding in Germany. Just moments ago, we learned that, 8 days ago, a German court single-handedly raised the bar for paradoxical workplace...stuff. In its landmark ruling, the Bundessozialgericht ruled that injuries sustained during an employee's morning commute from his bed to his desk constitute a workplace injury because he - crucially - did NOT eat breakfast before falling down the stairs. Join us as we tackle the question on everyone's mind ("huh?") and come to terms with the fact that we're officially a top 50 podcast.** In the business management category**** In Saudi Arabia Links to stuff mentioned in this episode:00:12 - Fall on walk from bed to desk is workplace accident, German court rules02:25 - Man gets $45K severance package after declaring job "too boring" (Busyness Paradox Episode 28: Boring Job Burnout)Click Here for Transcript and Episode Web Page
Many people experience job burnout at some point in their lives. When they do, it's often the boss that takes the blame. But what happens when the boss burns out? Companies have been learning the answer to that question the hard way since the pandemic started. While executives develop policies to meet employees' needs for safe and flexible work arrangements, the actual implementation of these ever-changing policies has quietly pushed many a boss to the brink. Join us as we tip our caps to the often-underappreciated middle managers of the world. Links to Topics, Articles and Other Content Mentioned in this Episode:3:30 - Manager Burnout Is Only Getting Worse11:26 - Burnout (Psychology Today)14:44 - Episode #27: Much Ado About WUSI17:44 - PRODUCERS NOTE: On behalf of the Busyness Paradox, I would like to apologize to scholars of mid-20th century American politics for Paul's error here, in which he accidentally attributed an anecdote about George McGovern to Hubert Humphrey. When confronted by our team of fact checkers, Paul expressed shock and disbelief that he he hadn't made the whole thing up. He then muttered something about being "pretty f------ close considering they both got curb-stomped by the same guy in consecutive elections that happened before I was even freaking born," which is about as close to an apology as you're going to get from these guys. - J. Wuntaek Click here for transcript and episode webpage
The 15-Hour Workweek

The 15-Hour Workweek


Imagine a life where technological gains make us so productive that 15 hours a week constitutes a “full-time” job. The insane ramblings of two would-be men of leisure? Indeed. But also the prediction of a famous economist. No not the movie guy, the other one: John Maynard Keynes. According to his 1930 prediction, not only is such a reality possible, we’re about 20 years late in achieving it. Was Keynes wrong or have we squandered our productivity gains on busywork?People, Places and Other Things Mentioned in This Episode:00:24 - Sarah Canatsey, Instructional Developed, University of Tennessee at Tennessee01:22 - Secret Side Hustles: Episode #26, Twice the Work in Half the Time: The Dual-Career Individual02:21 - Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren by John Maynard Keynes05:19 - The 15-Hour Workweek: Keynes and AOC Disagree08:59 - FIRE: Financial Independence/Retire Early15:09 - Frank W. MacDonald and The Chattanooga Times Free Press15:11 - Medal of Honor Heritage Center15:14 - Houston Museum of Decorative Arts15:16 - UTC Veterans Entrepreneurship Program17:02 - Too much time management: Episode #22, The Efficiency Paradox19:53 - Episode #8, The Email Paradox: Inefficient Efficiency (Part 1)19:53 - Episode #9, The Email Paradox: Inefficient Efficiency (Part 2)19:53 - The Thing About EmailClick here for transcript and episode webpage 
Boring Job Burnout

Boring Job Burnout


Feeling overworked and dreaming of a new job with lots of downtime? One where marathon solitaire sessions fill the time between naps and happy hours? Careful what you wish for…making 10 hours of work fill a 40-hour week ain’t all it’s cracked up to be.  If your employer is infected with the busyness bug, you’re likely to experience the delightfully paradoxical form of burnout that occurs when you’re actually underworked but everyone around you is pretending to be overworked. Tune in as we try to unpeel the paradoxical onion of boring job burnout in this episode of The Busyness Paradox. Links to stuff mentioned in the show:1:33 - Episode #25: Nixing Busywork with Niksen2:17 - Man gets $45K severance package after declaring job "too boring"13:13 - Episode #3: Are You Too Good at Your Job?22:54 - Free online courses offered by Harvard University:Web Programming with Python and JavaScriptNon-Profit Financial StewardshipJon Snow and the Cholera Epidemic of 1854Case studies in Functional GenomicsImproving your Business Through a Culture of HealthBecoming a More Resilient Leader in Turbulent Times29:21 - Episode #27: Twice The Work In Half The Hours: The Dual-Career Individual30:45 - Episode #10: The Four-Day Work WeekClick here for transcript and episode webpage 
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