March 14, 2021

Raising your ability to thrive in any work environment


Recent research from a software company studied the data of hundreds of thousands of their users.

They analyzed millions projects and tasks, and learned when people are the most likely to be productive. Here are a few data points.

Monday is our most productive day of the week.
Friday is our least.

October is our most productive month of the year.
January is our least.

Fall is the most productive season.
Winter is the least.

Eleven in the morning is when the highest percentage of tasks are complete. Getting stuff done after lunch is an uphill battle.

To what degree do these statistics match up with your own productivity patterns? Is that an accurate description of your work routine?

Personally, this research has zero resonance for me. Hours of the day, days of the week, months of the year, seasons of the calendar, who cares? None of that impacts my ability to do what needs to be done.

Sure, there are basic mathematical variables like going out to lunch and taking time off for vacation that skew the averages. But when you have a robust personal creativity management system, the clock and the calendar can’t control you.

Because your locus of control is internal. There may be temporal forces attempting to befall you from an outside agency, but that doesn’t change the fact that you have work to do.

There are many tools to help reinforce this mindset.

One of them is called domestic oil, which involves reducing your dependency on optimal and external creative circumstances to thrive. It takes time to master this skill, but any creative professional can learn to become less superstitious and more agnostic in their process.

Like the writer who unexpectedly has to travel out of town for a week to handle a family commitment. Just because they don’t have their favorite desk chair doesn’t mean they can’t carve out time to work each day during the trip.

Or the composer whose bandmates take the winter off so they can work on other projects. Just because he doesn’t have his collaborators doesn’t mean he can’t work on some new material in the quiet of his home studio.

What about the illustrator whose digital tablet shatters on her first day at a new job. Just because he can’t draw on his precious device doesn’t mean he can’t ask the office manager for some pen and paper to work analog until he buys a new one.

If you’re prolific, your work doesn’t come to a halt because of some external force. You learn to reduce your dependence on foreign oil, grow more flexible and less rigid with your preferences and raise your ability to thrive in any work environment.

No excuses. Doesn’t matter what time of the day, day of the week, month of the year or season on the calendar it is.

Creators create, always.

When turbulence happens, how will you figure out which opportunities to exploit in the service of your goals?