What’s the maximum amount of good work that you can do in a week? Mind you, it has to be good work, not just any work.
I think I’m able to do about 25 hours of good work per week — let’s call these hours up hours. After that, the quality of my output drops rapidly — the down hours. Even when this down hour work comprises meetings or communication, I seem to be less in the moment and less articulate.
As any coder will know, changing previous code in your down hours is a recipe for disaster. You will break more than you create. In my experience, this is also true for design work.
In the last weeks, I tried hard to do high creativity work during my down hours — with at best mediocre results. I was too overworked to be creative enough. No matter how hard I tried, I could never add more up hours to my week, only down hours. When there’s a lot of down work to do — that might be fine. But I’m certain now that I won’t be able to do high quality work in my down hours.
For me, the consequence is clear: rather than create low quality work for my clients, I need to better manage my up hours so every client gets the best of it. And the down hours are the perfect time for sports or reading, which will benefit my overall work quality and also my well-being greatly.