The experiment: Day 1

By Katharine Swan On Thursday, July 16, 2009 At 9:13 AM

Yesterday started out with a major setback to my day — right from the get-go. I woke up at 8am to Michael saying that his car wouldn't start. I was supposed to be taking him to work around 8:30 so that I could keep the car and run some errands, so this wasn't starting out well at all.

Fortunately, it turned out to be just the battery. Even more fortunately, his brother was able to stop by on his way to work and run Michael to the parts store. (It's actually close enough to walk, though not while carrying a car battery.) We got the battery changed out, and Michael's brother continued on to work.

Michael had already called in, so he decided to take the rest of the morning and just work a half-day in the afternoon. So we took the dogs for a walk. As often happens during our walks, we ended up talking about some pretty serious stuff.

This time it was financial stuff. We've been talking about buying a home with horse property, and we had just found out the day before that we probably wouldn't be able to qualify for a mortgage because we don't have enough equity in our current home, which we were planning on renting out. (There are other reasons why it's not going to work, but that is the main one. Apparently in the current credit market, if you can't cover both mortgage payments on your income — i.e., minus any rent you are paid — you have to have at least 30 percent equity in the rental. We don't, so we're not even going to try to qualify.)

Anyway, we started talking about whether I should take a part-time job (in addition to my freelancing) to save up some money and increase our income, so that we could try again when we're in a better position. Which got us onto the subject of my productivity. The past few weeks, I've been feeling like I'm working more hours than ever, but not actually doing any more. But I also feel that if I could get my productivity back under control, I could increase my income by more than I would make working a part-time job.

Michael was only going to work for about four hours, which would give me five to work while he was gone. So I told him I was going to try to focus as much as possible, and see how much I could get done in that amount of time.

Perhaps you already know where this is going, but the results were amazing! In the end, I worked fewer hours than I have in weeks (excepting days I've intentionally taken off), and made more in a single day than I've made in months without pulling an all-nighter. Not to mention, I felt damn good when I set down my work for the day. Being productive feels GOOD!

What started off looking like it would be a very unproductive day, turned out to be wildly productive. Who would have guessed? I'm going to repeat the experiment today and see what happens. I'll keep you posted — and I'll also give more details about how I've accomplished this.

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Anonymous Krista Says:  

I've also been feeling very unproductive lately. As in, it's three p.m. and I've only made a third to a half of what I typically earn in a day. I don't know what it is - summer, writing about the same topics all the time, a lack of new clients? Seems I've just lost some of the fire I used to have. Looking forward to seeing how your experiment goes.

 
 
Blogger Katharine Swan Says:  

Krista, I know that feeling all too well! Not that my experiment has proved anything more than that I can work harder on occasion, but perhaps you should try some experimentation of your own.

 

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Katharine Swan is a full-time freelance writer with more than 5 years of professional writing experience. In addition to maintaining several personal blogs, she writes a variety of online marketing materials for clients, including company blogs, articles, and press releases. In her free time, she spends time with her horse, reads, and writes fiction.

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