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You can get more done in less time. I don’t think this is lost on ambitious creatives and creators.

I continue to see new tweets, stories, and even courses revolving around having definite boundaries around one’s work schedule, and even keeping to four-hour workdays.

And I think it’s great that there is a growing anti-grind movement, or at the very least, pro-effectiveness movement. Personally, I think pro-effectiveness is the best way to think about it, since what you resist, persists (being anti anything tends to create more awareness for the very thing you’re resisting!).

Further, I like to differentiate productivity from effectiveness, where effectiveness is getting the right things done, and productivity is just getting things done. That difference is huge as applied to keeping your workdays shorter.

Something I’ve learned through experience, though, is to keep your personal productivity private.

Now, there’s nothing wrong with sharing about your productivity in a tweet, story, or course. If you’re trying to build credibility with your audience, you’d better be able to show them how you can get more done in less time. No one is going to believe if you don’t have evidential, or at the very least, anecdotal proof.

It’s with clients that we need to be more tactful.

I had an ugly situation unfold about a year ago, where a client was clearly more interested in how long I had worked on their project than the quality of work delivered. It may seem silly to freelancers, entrepreneurs, or those who live unconventional lives, but much of the world has operated on the traditional 9 – 5 model for a long time and it’s deeply embedded in culture. Evenings and weekends offer workers a rare escape from the soul-crushing corporate grind.

I have bucked convention at every turn, done things at my own pace, and have always taken my own approach to work and life. It’s the only way things have ever worked for me. So, you can see where there’s some tension.

But some people just care more about the hours you’ve dedicated to their project than how good of a job you did. Probably because they never get to work less than eight hours per day.

Which is also funny, because I don’t know too many freelancers, entrepreneurs, or unconventional lifers who haven’t done the 12- to 16-hour grind at times, to get a project done, to deal with a sudden influx in demand, or to put out fires. And that’s the part that most conventional workers don’t know about.

But whatever your processes are for getting things done faster, they should be considered proprietary. No mention of them should be made to your clients. Because this is what they are paying you for.

Whatever your processes are for getting things done faster, they should be considered proprietary. Click To Tweet

It doesn’t matter that you can bang out 2,000 words, design a logo, or put together a commissioned illustration in an hour or less. Only you (and potentially your students) need to know that. What clients want to know is you slaved and pored over their project. They want to know that it was given the proper attention and polish it deserved.

So, be strategic with who you reveal your personal productivity to. In most cases, there’s no value in disclosing such details to your clients.

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Hold Your Horses, Cow-Person!

From: David Andrew Wiebe
To: You!

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