April 26, 2009

How to stay effective and creative?

Dolly Parton's 9 To 5 is playing on Spotify, which is almost a bit spooky as I'm going to write a little about working hours. Working nine to five usually isn't enough when you are building a company. However, it is important not to always work, work, work all day and half the night on daily operations as that will make you less effective and creative.

Finnish serial entrepreneur Taneli Tikka on "lifestyle business bullshit". "Also; great ideas, innovation and valuable views are often born from the grey areas in between and from cross-disciplinary space. And they are born from sleeping well; having your brain in shape and in an alert state to be creative, freely associating (combining seemingly random things), and open minded. You can't have any of this if you are too busy putting in long hours to your operations."

A similar tune to the Van Gogh quote on what it takes to produce good work: "you have to eat well, be well housed, have a screw from time to time, smoke your pipe and drink your coffee in peace."

What are your favorite ways to stay creative and effective even when there are lots of stuff to do and taking a six month sabbatical or a week off in the Alps is not an option?


Martin said...

"Mens sana in corpore sano" - a healthy mind in a healthy body. Maybe a paradox, but I see sports as a good way to get strong enough to be able to mistreat yourself. :)

You also get more inclined to eat well afterward since you don't want to ruin the effects of the spent time.

Pushing yourself through limits by e.g. running even though you don't like it, is good for self discipline, something that every start-up needs.

Sleep on top of that, and the foundation is set.

In total, one hour in a pair of Nikes is not a wasted time even though the schedule is tight, but an investment that will increase your productivity.

Henrik Torstensson said...

Thx for the great comment Martin.

I agree that the combination of sleep, healthy eating and exercise is a great foundation for being effective and creative.

In addition, getting out of extra-curricular activities (conferences, meetups, etc etc) to focus on core work, close personal relationships and sleep+healthy eating+exercise generally works pretty well.