Need More Time?: Friday, June 26th

More Time does not equal More Productivity.

When I first started writing, I would always look forward to my weekends and my vacations, thinking to myself, “I’ll have so much time and get so much done.” But against all of my reasoning and crafty planning, the opposite always turned out to be true. I would write more during the week, in the early mornings or during lunch breaks at work, and during my free days I wouldn’t actually get much done.

Reminds me of college when my professor gave me 6 months to write a research paper. I inevitably procrastinated for 5 and a half months and then I finally wrote the thing in a mad flurry of desperate productivity.

Unless you’re freakishly self disciplined then I’ll bet you did something similar.

I’ve heard journalists say that there’s no such thing as writer’s block when you have deadlines to keep.

Professional filmmaker Casey Neistat says that free time is the enemy of productivity.

One of my favorite authors and writing heroes, Hugh Howey, just posted a blog where he talks about the passing of time. He reveals that he always planned to die when he was 40 years old. He told his friends about it. He planned on it. He never meant to live past the age of 40.

Of course these days he’s older than 40, but he credits his self imposed lifespan with propelling him to live a jampacked, adventurous 40 years. In other words, he gave himself a deadline on life that required action sooner rather than later.

Had my professor given me two weeks to write that research paper, I would have finished the sucker in two weeks, instead of dragging it out for 6 months.

Less Time equals Greater Productivity.

I can’t speak for anyone else. But what I need are stronger habits, not some miraculous gift of free time. I need to take inventory of all my habits, fire the poor ones and hire better ones to replace them.

I hope that one day I can work from home and be my own boss. But I haven’t yet proven to myself that I can handle that sort of thing. Just the thought of having all that time makes me nervous. I have so much respect for those people who do make their own schedules. And I’m willing to bet that they are successful because of their good habits, not because they are free from the restrictions of a regular 9-5 job.

But enough of this talk, it’s time to get to work. I’ll see you again on Monday.

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