We live in a world where productivity rules. If you’re not working a billable hour, you’re dirt.
This mentality becomes even more perpetual if you’re a business owner who sells services, rather than things … like me. I don’t sell shirts or dresses or books (yet). If I’m not working an hour, I’m not getting paid.
And yet, I make a conscious effort to waste time during the workday.
I pull weeds. I watch an episode of Parks and Recreation. I pet my cats, or talk to my boyfriend, or sift through the sea of endless posts on Facebook.
I. Waste. Time.
Because I’m more productive this way. Not only do I complete more work, I develop better end-products. My writing is crisper. My imagery is more vivid. My social media posts are snappier, while my media strategies are tighter.
That equals happier clients, who always come back for more. Happy clients ensure future freelance writing work, which ensures I pay my mortgage, pay my bills, and have healthcare coverage.
Studies prove my theory, too.
Take this excerpt from a 2013 New York Times article by Tony Schwartz called, “Relax! You’ll Be More Productive.”
Working in 90-minute intervals turns out to be a prescription for maximizing productivity. Professor K. Anders Ericsson and his colleagues at Florida State University have studied elite performers, including musicians, athletes, actors and chess players. In each of these fields, Dr. Ericsson found that the best performers typically practice in uninterrupted sessions that last no more than 90 minutes. They begin in the morning, take a break between sessions, and rarely work for more than four and a half hours in any given day.
“To maximize gains from long-term practice,” Dr. Ericsson concluded, “individuals must avoid exhaustion and must limit practice to an amount from which they can completely recover on a daily or weekly basis.”
BOOM. Do I know my stuff, or do I know my stuff?
So tell me, do you waste time during your workday? Why or why not?
Hi! I’m Shari Lopatin. I’m a professional writer, editor, journalist, and social media strategist with a decade of experience in media and communications. I live in Phoenix, Ariz. and blog about finding a literary agent, writing tips, social media or tech trends, and sometimes current events. Oh yeah, I also edit novels for self-published authors or writers needing help before querying literary agents. Are we friends yet on Facebook and Twitter?