My latest theme, creativity vs. efficiency, has led me to consider how a creative person goes about becoming efficient in his or her work. Creative work is well known for having elastic timings; “how long is a piece of string?” would greet me often when asking a creative about time needed to solve a creative problem. But what if you want to ensure you or your creatives are not so much sticking to pre-determined deadlines but more importantly using their time to the best of their ability, not shirking, flunking, avoiding or procrastinating?
Flow. A popular word used in this topic. Coined most prevalently by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (Happy Birthday by-the-way Mr. Csikszentmihalyi). It’s a word used to describe a heightened mental state that we achieve when creativity is going really well, we forget ourselves, we have clear goals, we do not self-doubt and importantly we get things done. Sounds brilliant. It brings us real happiness – which is really the focus of Csikszentmihalyi’s studies. But how do you achieve this at work? Csikszentmihalyi suggests aiming for a balance between challenge and skill: What challenges you? What are you good at?
In reality, the feedback I’m getting from creative friends and colleagues is that this is merely an observation of work, not something that can be manufactured. If you find a project that you have the skills for and that poses challenges then great, but even this doesn’t automatically mean you will achieve a sense of flow. Don’t try and replicate it if it does happen to you, just enjoy it while it does!
Well, ok, there are some methods for achieving flow in your life, but they are sometimes a bit too much effort…
It’s always great to hear feedback from happy clients. Here’s a recent recommendation I received from Antoinette Daniel, a small business owner who needed help when her company’s success started ramping up the stress levels:
Having experienced her Time Penny package I was sincerely impressed. Within 30 minutes of the beginning of session 1, Penny had accurately summarised my personality, the issues that I was having with time management and was able to succinctly guide me towards 3 ideas and tools for me to test and think through over the next month.
Her process helped me to combat my procrastination and gave me a longer term solution to work towards in terms of feeling time pressured and often overwhelmed with the ‘to-do’ list.
She reinforced some of those time-old methods that I already know but set them in a context of where I want to be. Her calm, enthusiastic, friendly and ‘safe-hands’ manner made the whole process an enjoyable oasis like experience.
A month down the line, I have cut down on wasted procrastination time. I can more quickly identify when I am avoiding unpleasant tasks. I feel more focused and better motivated to keep working towards my future goals.
She understands the mind of an SME business person and with her background in the creative industry would be well-suited to work with a broad range of companies and individuals.
Time and money well spent!
If you are a small business either starting out on your own or with a few busy colleagues I can help you with your time management woes. There’s no need for it to interrupt your busy day as I’m available for early morning 1:1 meetings. All my clients have seen definite progress on their productivity in just one hour.
Take a look at what other clients have been saying on my testimonials page and use my contact form to get in touch.