Free time

A couple of posts set me off to write today. They all revolved around working time and free time. One of them argued that we don’t need much free time, that whatever we do in life should be inspiring – you should work with your passion. If you do this you don’t need free time, or you can at least skip some nights of watching tv shows. Bah, if it was that easy! Surely it can’t be said that you’d be happy to work more if you work with your passion. You’d probably be less frustrated and less distracted; that’s reasons good enough to work with passions. But in the end working is working and your brain needs to clock off. Having said that, yes, free time can also be used to do things that which will be better for you in the long run than just watching tv shows. And if you’re not happily working with you passion, your free time is a great chance to set you off in another direction. 
Read Darius Foroux’s 10 Career Mistakes I Wish I Had Never Made.

The other post meant that we can be productive without working a full day. If we just focus. Much more inspiring! And quite true, at least if you’re a one-man-show like Stephen King banging out 2000 words a day. The key thing in this post though was to focus, stop idling and do. Write your first sentence and let the momentum pick up. Suddenly the beeping, flashing, noisy things around won’t be a distraction. They won’t lure you out of your cocoon of productivity. And that way you can finish early and get more free time. More free time to do the other things you enjoy doing. This should always be the goal rather than clocking in and off on the hour mark. Shuffle your own time around. Work during your productive hours. Do all other things the other hours. 
Read Tony Stubblebine’s How to Be Productive Without Working Past Noon.

The last post was a miserable answer to a question, posed in an advertising paper, that should not be a worry: Will I still be taken seriously if I switch to part-time in order to spend more time with my kid? Again, this is an understandable worry but shouldn’t be. Shame. But the response from an industry giant is even more shameful. This is the answer:

It’s, unfortunately, the request of someone who’s failed to understand what working in advertising (or journalism, or the theatre, or film-making, or event management, or many branches of the law, or consultancy, or politics, or the more excitable elements of money-dealing) is really like.

That is utter nonsense. It also goes on saying that if this haven’t been accepted then maybe it’s time to walk away from the industry. The answer tries to give hope (I assume) by saying part-time in advertising is possible only if you accept to be nimble, alert, flexible and opportunistic. And don’t expect your employer to leave you undisturbed by crises or bolt-from-the-blue opportunities, and still see you as a member of the A-team.

This is clearly the ideas of someone that still believe everyone should be stuck in an office producing every working hour and beyond. If this is the view of the industry. Still! Then we haven’t made any progress. Did we even try to make progress? And where do we go from here?
Read Jeremy Bullmore’s column On the Campaign Couch.

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