Rise and Grind: Finding Your Efficiency Sweet Spot
I find it’s always helpful to have two creative projects going. That way, you can procrastinate from one with the other. I finished "The 4-Hour Workweek" by Tim Ferriss some time ago. Rather than write a blog post about it, I went on to write an adventure for my D&D group. Then, I started writing a fiction book that I’m trying out for size.
Three creative projects is a bit much. On the plus side, I’m always doing something useful when I procrastinate.
Utility of action and efficiency are key in understanding Ferriss’ approach to reducing the time spent on trivial work and maximizing your profits. As I read through, I found his approach wanting in a few aspects.
Don’t get me wrong. It’s still a fantastic book, and I came away with many more learnings that I usual do from a “self-help” or “business” book.
Effectiveness is Nice But Results Are Better
That said, effectiveness is an important focus if you want to do better work in shorter time. Deadlines are my antidote to inefficiency, but they are only partially effective. Sometimes, you need to grind and grind at something regardless of how effective you’re feeling.
This novel I’ve started writing, for example. I’ve written a book before and part of the process is writing down everything you can think of, without filter. For me, that looks like a goal word count per day. I try to make that goal whether the writing is great or not.
Your internal editor can be a harsh critic. Don’t stop at every moment to let him digest what you wrote. In the end, time dedicated specifically to editing will separate the wheat from the chaff.
For people like me with a chronic illness, and I believe this is true of everyone, sometimes you just have to get the work done. Whenever possible, however, follow Ferriss’ advice to find your efficiency sweet spot and fit your work in around it.
And, if I’m being completely honest, I had to pause writing this blog post to procrastinate with something else because my efficacy dropped. Just once. Or twice.
I’m back to writing this now though I’m not feeling well because I need to get it done if I want to keep my blog alive. I’m not saying “go out there and procrastinate.”
What I am saying is:
Sometimes you have to grind when you’re at your least efficient. It’s not fun, but you gotta do what you gotta do.
Your process is your own. Try mine on for size or Tim Ferriss’. Then, ditch it if it doesn’t work for you.
Be kind to yourself.
To read more about my thoughts on "The 4-Hour Workweek" and time management, check out "My Most Valuable Asset is Time."