My name is Ian, and I’m addicted to reading news on the internet.
Every so often I step back and try to identify the bad habit or activity that’s sucking up the largest portion of my time. Past culprits have included:
So this week’s topic might seem obvious, but it’s also so important that I can’t possibly let this blog go any longer without talking about it. That’s because I’ve found that sorting creative time into the right place on your schedule can make all the difference between fist-clenching frustration and sweet sweet productivity.
Here’s a few things to consider when thinking about your ideal creative work schedule:
No joke—last week I worked 65 hours, dealt with a nasty flat tire on my trusty Volvo, and still managed to see the New Pornographers concert that I’d been looking forward to for months.
How did all this happen, you ask? And furthermore, why did I submit myself to such an exhausting schedule??? Continue reading
I met James Crews at the University of Nebraska where he worked as a mentor for my first-year teaching class while finishing his poetry PhD. We kept in touch, and when we both found ourselves in the northeast I drove out to southern Vermont to the farmhouse he shares with his partner in Shaftsbury (which, coincidentally, is just up the road from Bennington College, where I did my undergrad). Continue reading
Jack Hill is hands-down one of the most productive people I’ve ever met and a Day Job veteran who’s worked a bigger variety of jobs than even I have. The two of us spent a lot of time in grad school trying to make sense of how the writing life worked in the 21st century. Check out his website or follow him on Twitter @xjackhill. Continue reading
I used to check my e-mail once, sometimes twice a day, usually after work or at the very end of the night. (I know this is starting out all lame and nostalgic, but bear with me….) I’d respond to anything that was important, then wait a few days for things that weren’t. My back and forth conversations were usually separated by a day or longer, Continue reading
So this is the end of my three-part series spelling out my entire work history. In Part 1 I covered my early years learning about work, and in Part 2 I moved on to post-college struggles to both scrounge up some money and get out of New Hampshire. Continue reading
This week I’m continuing my list of every job I’ve ever worked with my first four years after college. If you missed the high school and undergrad years, check out Part I here. Continue reading
I blatantly stole the idea for this post from one J. Money did a few years ago, since laying out people’s actual job histories shows how work doesn’t always form some straightforward linear path. We tend to think of careers as a track that goes from College, to a Job, then to a Better Job, and then to Even Better Jobs that steadily pay more Continue reading
Staying focused is important—and hard. My biggest faults in this area are procrastinating, getting distracted during worktime, and taking on too much and getting overwhelmed (especially when I’m supposed to be writing). Case in point: I probably should have started this entry an hour ago.
As I’ve talked about before, structured Day Jobs make it easier to get things done because they provide goals, timelines, Continue reading
Writing about overtime hours last week reminded me of last spring when I took on the challenge of working 70 hours a week, every week, between three different jobs. It was pretty intense.
How did this happen, you ask? Since there wasn’t much to do at my regular Day Job working at the research greenhouse, I sought out a work from home opportunity (a.k.a. my Continue reading
There’s a lot of things I hate (rude people, traffic jams, being called “buddy” in conversation), but not getting paid for the work I’ve done takes the top slot. This isn’t because I’ve been stiffed on a paycheck, but because I’ve had jobs where I had to face off against my arch nemesis unpaid overtime.
Check out this graph from the Economic Policy Institute showing Continue reading