Tim Harford is a busy guy. He’s got two podcasts, has written 10 books, and has a standing column in the FT called the Undercover Economist. But recently he’s been trying to do less – and not just less bad stuff. He’s cutting down on things that are productive, like kickboxing practice and reading New Yorker articles. The idea came to Tim after reading a book called Subtract by Leidy Klotz, in which Klotz looks at research that shows that humans have a bias against subtraction. Instead, our idea of fixing things often involves adding. Tim tells Lilah how his subtraction experiment is going and why giving up on one activity can help you enjoy the activities that you choose to stick with.


We love hearing from you. Lilah is on Instagram @lilahrap. You can email us at lifeandart@ft.com.


Links (all FT links get you past the paywall):

– Tim recently wrote about the art of subtraction here: https://on-ft-com.ezproxy.cul.columbia.edu/3U5A3BK

– He is on X @TimHarford

– You can check out recent episodes of Tim’s “More or Less” podcast from the BBC here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006qshd/episodes/player


Special FT subscription offers for Life and Art podcast listeners, from 50% off a digital subscription to a $1/£1/€1 trial, are here: http://ft.com.ezproxy.cul.columbia.edu/lifeandart


Original music by Metaphor Music. Mixing and sound design by Breen Turner and Sam Giovinco. Clips courtesy of Paramount Pictures.

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