It‘s like in every job: You work, work, work, create cool stuff and work. But one thing is required in nearly every job: inspiration. And that is what this article is all about.
„When you look at the science, there is a mismatch between what science knows and what business does.“ says Daniel Pink in his speech about motivation on TED.
Tim Ferriss, the author of the 4 Hour Work Week, demonstrates how it works: work hard, efficient and play hard. He‘s not only a mixed martial arts fighter but also a dancer. Specifically a tango-dancer (in this YouTube video you can see his world record). That means: We all know that we need some time off. The fun should not be neglected. And yet we do it far more rarely than necessary.
Daniel Pink is supporter of the so-called ROWE-Model. It means ,Results-Only Work Environment‘. „In a ROWE people don’t have schedules. They show up when they want. They don’t have to be in the office at a certain time, or any time. They just have to get their work done.“ he says. They freely determine:
- and where
they work. Ultimately the outcome matters.
It’s logical to assume that you, as a WordPress coder, a designer or a marketing buddy have such „time-outs“. And that is what we do on a regular basis.
Dave has been living in Greece for some time now (7 years, to be precise). The weather is great there. In fact it‘s possible for him to go for a trip to the beach whenever he likes to. As long as he has internet access and he can thus engage in the business, when necessary. The picture to your left was taken by him during a short trip to the beach.
For me it was pretty similar during the last two weeks. The ROWE-Model allowed me to not be in the office at 8 o’clock in the morning. Instead I got up at 4 o’clock in the morning to climb up a nearby mountain to watch and photograph the sunrise. Photography has been a hobby of mine for years.
What advice should we follow?
Tony Schwartz (President and CEO ,The Energy Project‘) said in his speech at 99% that every human being has two core impulses in live:
- Number one is to escape pain.
- Number two is to move towards pleasure.
Here is an example: I worked and still work very often on our Purple Heart Rating WordPress Plugin. It was created to solve a specific problem a user has. And my particular job was to provide a solution to this problem (in form of a WordPress plugin). The development of a source code (so to speak the translation of an imaginary solution into code) needs a lot of time and therefore is extremely demanding.
But our subconscious mind wants to get away from this problem and this effort. Anything that has nothing to do with the problem is absolutely attractive for us.
This means that everything that is distracting us from the real problem is nice for our core impulses. Therefore also our e-mail program is always open. We read every incoming email instantly when a ,new email sound‘ comes up. Because the sound promises us more freedom and distracts us from the real problem.
In theory this is a good thing: Away from the pain. Towards more freedom. This also works great when a lion stands in front of us and we have to escape. When solving tasks, however, this doesn’t really help and ultimately has the following results:
- we jump back and forth between different tasks,
- we work inefficiently,
- the quality of the solution is impaired.
According to Schwartz, we should ask ourselves the following:
- What’s the longest you’ve gone without checking email during the past month?
- When was the last time you took an hour or two out of your day just to think creatively or long term without interruption?
- How often do you sit back for a few moments, take a deep breath and quite your mind?
I think we do any of that far too often, right? To bad, because ultimately time-outs ensure that our brain works more creatively again. Just a half hour break usually provide us with much more inspiration. And as a coder you know this anyway: if you suddenly do not know what to do, because you will not find a mistake, it is better to take a short break.
„We need to find a nice balance between spending energy and recovering energy. So when you‘re engaged you‘re fully engaged. And when you‘re recovering and renewing, you‘re truly renewing and you stop living in the grey zone in between.“ says Tony Schwartz as a summary. And I agree with him. Because without short time-outs according to the Tim-Ferriss-principle aka known as ‘mini retirements’ (or whatever you may call it) there wouldn’t be a Purple Heart Rating Plugin out there.
And finally of course the pictures that resulted during my short trip: