I chose to focus on productivity last month because I wanted to find a way to apply it to creative work. My idea was to outline a system of productivity for creatives. As I worked with the idea, I became less comfortable with it until abandoning it altogether. Productivity and creative work are two different and, for me, irreconcilable contexts. Creatives shouldn’t adapt to productivity; they should escape from it.
Productivity as Temporal Enslavement explores reasons for the conflict between the mechanistic realm of productivity and the more fluid and discerning realm of creativity. The improvisatory world of creative work is guided by perceptual acuity, discernment, imagination, discovery, and relaxed concentration. Creativity cannot be facilitated by the principles of time management, time blocking, to dos, tasks, or habits.
Productivity causes a constriction of perspective; that is, productivity as a practice ensures that we can’t see the forest for the trees. Productivity: The Weaponization of Somnambulance explores how productivity inhibits creative potential and turns efficiency into a collective trance.
On Reading Too Much explores the value of reading less. I happened across a few websites that promoted outrageous amounts of reading. Some of these gurus presume that reading a book a week, or even better a book a day, offers a pathway toward knowledge, expertise, and authority. This kind of perspective is symptomatic of an obsession with productivity.
So ends my experiment with productivity. Now to get back to creative work…