Why My Creativity Skyrocketed the Second I Stopped Tracking Hours

By Mica Pfeffer

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“I landed my dream job in the midst of a world pandemic” — I remember telling my friends as soon as I signed my contract with FLF.

Yet the last two weeks felt somewhat different. Unmotivated and somewhat confused I started to wonder: what changed? The enriching conversations and the excitement of being at the beginning of the creative process were substituted by numbers, spreadsheets, and implementation.

“What am I doing?” — I thought to myself once, or maybe twice.

I wanted to be asking questions, wondering ‘what if’, thinking about the endless possibilities, and making possibilities never end.

But what was stopping me?

I found myself tracking hours at the end of every day.

In my head the simple question of “how many hours did I work today” translated to “how many hours have I spent sitting down being 100% productive?”

Regardless of the number I wrote down, my motivation remained low. Very low.

A couple of days ago I decided to have a conversation about it, share my feelings and frustrations rather than keeping it to myself.

It was a simple “Mica, stop tracking hours if it doesn’t resonate with you” from my boss that changed my motivation rating from 5/10 to 9/10.

It was by voicing out my concerns that I realized the criteria I was using to count hours not only unmotivated me but also restrained me from my sources of creativity — researching, wondering, going outside and talking to people, and watching random videos that would enable me to connect dots down the road.

“What is work?” — I started to wonder.

“And what does it even mean to track hours in the 21st century?”

Our ways of working have changed but the way we measure our work hasn’t.

How about you, how do you define work? And how are you measuring it?

If we change the way we track hours, what does that mean for changing the way we calculate wages? And the way we bill projects?

Would love to hear your thoughts as I brainstorm and work on new ideas in my hammock in the middle of the forest.

About the author:

We’re lucky to have Mica as our Business Designer at FLF. She is a systems thinker and storyteller striving to design a more human, conscious world — one experience at a time. Mica likes to say that she thinks in English, feels in Spanish, and talks to herself in Portuguese. You’ll find her diversity in language and perspective through everything she does.

Feel free to connect with Mica and learn more about her through LinkedIn.

FLF Product Design — designing and launching new ventures and digital products, with a focus on analytics, organizational design and sustainability.

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