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How to Be the Most Productive Motherfauxer in the Room

In: Productive Mother

When I first started working for myself, I was like: OH HEY I HAVE ALL THESE HOURS! LOOK AT THEM IN ALL THEIR GLOWY DELIGHT!

If the idea was to “be booked,” then great—I would be motherfauxing booked. (Get it? It’s the faux fuck, and it’s coming to a screen near you.)

The surprise, of course, was that getting the work wasn’t the hard part: it was planning out the work. What I didn’t realize, then, is that time is independent of energy. Just because you’ve got eight hours of available time doesn’t mean you have eight hours of available stamina. And it’s so critical to understand the difference.

I call this your mental exchange rate.

Everyone’s is different. Every industry is different.

For example, I know that, without fail, it will take me at least one full hour to write a first draft of a single page of web copy. However, I can only write three pages of copy, at the max, before my mental prowess begins to suffer, and I’ve got to pack it in for the day.

For me, that means that for every eight hour work day, I get three hours of copywriting time.

It’s an 8:3 ratio.

So if I have a client project that requires eight pages of copy, I can’t just assume I’ll take an eight-hour block of time and work on it all in one fell swoop. Doesn’t work that way. I’ve got to budget at LEAST three full days of time, drafting three pages each day, in order to simply develop the first set of drafts. Naturally, you won’t just be working with one client at a time either, so then you’ve got to account for multiple projects as well. Then, of course, there will be multiple rounds of re-writes and editing and client communication and discussions, all of which will take just as long for each page, multiplied by rounds. There's a lot of multiplication going on here!

This is why it’s so important to track your time and know the rate at which you work.

You need that to be able to plan—and give clients accurate deadlines.

And you also need it for the integrity of your work. There’s nothing worse than rushing through a job for the sake of an arbitrary deadline. And yet, people do it every day—not because they don’t know how to meet deadlines.

But because they don’t know how to set them.

Oct 12

2017

We Are Overthinking EVERYTHING

We’ve all got these really exhausting mental scripts we tell ourselves. For example, earlier today I was telling myself I was going to exercise, but then I told myself that, well, maybe notttttt, because I had something heavy for lunccchhhh, so I probably wouldn’t have the energggggy, and then it’d be harder than usuaaaal, and […]

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In: Productive Mother


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Jul 2

2015

Turns Out, You *Can’t* Do it All—So How Do You Pick?

You know who’s funny? People who try to do everything. Talk about a dysfunctional relationship with time. Contrary to popular opinion, time is not always there for you when you need it. Yet, then you are all cute, telling yourself you’ll just “fit it in”—whatever “it” might be that day. Why does everyone think they’ll fit it in? […]

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In: Productive Mother


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Mar 11

2015

You’re always going to have fifty million things to do—PLUS that asshole’s bar mitzvah.

There’s a lot of pressure these days to be perfect. (Says the girl carrying thirty extra pounds and a dysfunctional pouty face.) As someone who used to be very all-or-nothing, over the years I’ve had to make some major peace with the fact that all-or-nothing is a gigantic, sweaty faced fool’s errand. :: How many times have you thought about […]

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In: Productive Mother


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Jan 3

2014

Feel Guilty Anytime You’re Not “Being Productive”?

I wrote today’s tip earlier today about copywriting. It was pretty fucking good, actually. I might have even made a joke about ham. But then I stalled. I hated the tip. The tip was useful, for sure. The tip was original, most definitely. And the tip was something that some people might have even printed […]

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In: Productive Mother


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Jul 31

2015

The 140 Character Email: An Experiment in Sanity

You know the email. The one you’re dreading responding to—not because of what it says, but because the second you open it, all you see is A GIANT, LOOMING TSUNAMI OF TEXT lurching at your face as if the sender had taken the entire Sunday edition of The New York Times, reformatted it into one […]

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In: Productive Mother


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