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by Nick Usborne
My advice in this article bucks the trend a bit.
Early each year we see a flurry of activity from various gurus who want to teach you how to optimize your time.
They sell books, seminars and systems that show you how best to organize each day, maximize your productivity and achieve your goals faster.
On the face of it, there is nothing wrong with that.
Its a good thing to be well organized.
And if you want to make more money as a freelancer this year, you would do well to become more productive.
That way youll get each job done faster and be able to take on more work.
So wheres the problem?
Dont organize yourself out of having a life...
I think there comes a point where you can get yourself a little too hyped up.
If you reinvent yourself as a productivity machine, it makes some significant changes in your life.
You start measuring each day in fifteen minute increments. Even during your lunch break you become overly aware of how time is passing. You cease to enjoy your break, because theres a clock ticking in your head.
Fixating on productivity alone can also blind your creative side
When you break your day down into blocks of time for particular tasks, and move from one to the next in record time, youll end up having a very productive day.
Youll get lots done, but youll lose something too.
When you discipline, regiment and control your thinking beyond a certain point, you start to lose the ability to think freely, to make creative associations, to free your intuition and explore new insights and ideas.
In short, if you organize your day too much, you run the risk of being less creative.
Not science, but it feels right...
I have no evidence to support these views. But I know that what I describe is true at least for myself.
I can work both ways. I can work in a super-optimized way and be incredibly productive. And I can sit back a little, maybe get less done...but allow myself more time for free thinking and discovery.
Its about finding a balance.
You need to be organized enough to be productive, get the work done and make good money.
But you also need to give yourself the freedom to float a little, and benefit from the more creative insights that can follow.
And heres one more thought. There have been times in my career when I have maintained a super-productive mode for weeks and months on end. I was a real work machine.
And you know what? I was miserable. I made good money, but burned out and didnt enjoy my life very much.
Like I said, its a matter of finding the right balance.
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