Productivity and the Postmaster

Following up on Merlin Mann’s knee-slapping anecdote of Productivity and the “Perfect Apostrophy,” he recently alerted me to an interview he gave for the National Post, which contains this related nugget of a story about his ill-fated book on productivity:

One of my favourite stories about that is I’m on my cellphone, walking down the street, talking to my co-author and we are saying, ‘The book! The book! This is terrible!’ And in my hand I’ve got a Netflix [mail-delivered DVD] and a copy of the autobiography of Benjamin Franklin. I’m going to the library and the mailbox,” he recalls, speaking even faster now. “I’m having this heated conversation and I drop my Netflix in the mailbox but then I realize it isn’t my Netflix I’ve put in the mailbox but the autobiography of Benjamin Franklin, which is funny if you know that not only is Benjamin Franklin the philosophical godfather of the life-hacks movement, but he was the first postmaster of the United States. So, I threw my library book in the mailbox. That is how my mind works.

God, I love Merlin. And I’m happy to see the story of the book being used in the service of productivity lessons. Though I’d rather have seen the book itself actually teaching productivity techniques, at least it’s getting some mileage as a cautionary tale.

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