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16 Jun 2005

There is a very big movement towards productivity lately, it's fantastic. Lord knows I could use some help in this area so I'm eating all this hype up by the truckload.

Most of the hype and promotion of this new train of though is from Getting Things Done, a book by David Allen. There are countless sites touting the techniques and tips of this 288 page bible to the slackers among us. One thing that I haven't heard too much of is the importance, or lack thereof, regarding schedules.

I'm an little bit old fashioned when it comes to work ethic. I get up in the morning, check the news and read some blogs, check my email and messages, and then I get started on my tasks for the day. Sometime between 12:00pm and 2pm I'll take a lunch break and maybe watch some TV. Then it's back putting my nose to the grindstone until supper time or 8pm, whichever comes first. Occasionally I'll forgo evening TV or tomfoolery and head back to the office for more work. It's a pretty loose schedule but it's what I do. It's also easier to do when you're the boss.

What about those times where you just feel unmotivate though? When even the wind blowing in the trees is a distraction. What do you do then? My theory, keep the schedule — at least that's what I've been working on doing. One thing I have noticed is that when I get like this it is a lot easier to take care of the production style tasks on my list of things to do. It's certainly not fun work and you may not be happy about it, generally I'm not, but you're still getting it done. And who knows, finishing off some mindless production work may be just the kick in the pants you needed.

On the other hand, if you just call it a day, go home early and goof off to “rekindle your motivation,” you still have to complete that task. You may very well find your motivation and creative spirit come back while you are avoiding the work at hand but in the long run, when you get back to the office tomorrow it seems like a much bigger blow to the creative juices when you remember that production work has to get done.

Motivation and creativity seem to go hand in hand. When you're motivated and driven you get things done. You feel like you're on top of the world. It's more fun to be exercising your creative muscles when you feel like that. Trying to force creativity when it's not there usually puts you further back than when you started. At least that's what I've found.

Of course this is just what I've noticed for myself, your mileage may very. I am always interested in hearing how different people overcome their motivation and creative blocks though. There are some great posts by some much greater minds than mine out there on the same topic, and so, a Googling I will go.

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