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The Working Day

How to cultivate mad-hot creative flow, love what you do and double your fees

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When was the last time you loved working on a project so much, you became completely absorbed in it?  Time stood still.  Minutes became hours.  Hours became days.  And, it all felt like seconds.  As creative professionals, we drop into this ultra-creative blissful zone here and there. 

But, what if you could literally create it on demand?  What if you could consistently cultivate that all-immersive state of mind where the product comes tumbling out with astonishing speed and remarkable quality, letting you not only enjoy the process more, but work less, take one more or raise your rates faster?

Good news, you can enter this magical ultra-creative, super-efficient mode more easily than you imagined, you just need to know how. 

Getting into the flow.

With the publication of his seminal 1991 book, Flow: The Psychology Of Optimal Experience, Hungarian cognitive scientist, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi laid out the elements of that magical state artists and athletes called “the zone.” 

Through extensive research, he discovered a deeply-engaged state that was not only hugely enjoyable, but highly-replicable, if you knew the elements.  And, he also found that this very state fueled the creation of a lot of greatness across all fields.

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Statistics: Part 1, The Only Definition of Statistics You’ll Ever Need

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statisticsIf you’re anything like me, you probably feel a little funny about how often you check your stats. I check them throughout the day, with a regularity I’m almost ashamed to admit. There’s even a particular stat program I use which plots out a sexy graph, above which are written the words: “Statistics updated every 24 hours.” That doesn’t keep me from checking it about three times a day.

Regardless of the social implications, we stat-freaks are on the right track. For whether you acknowledge it or not statistics are the very backbone of your business, your production, your income and pretty much everything else that matters. I use them (not just look at them) every single day, whether it’s at my blog or examining my design business.

What are statistics?

If you look up “statistic” in pretty much any dictionary, you’ll notice that even people who write dictionaries have bad days. A survey of dictionaries I have to hand uncovered the following definitions for the word “statistic”:

Dictionary.com – Numerical data
Websters – A numerical fact or datum
Dictionary.org – The practice or science of collecting and analyzing numerical data in large quantities, esp. for the purpose of inferring proportions in a whole from those in a representative sample.

There’s nothing wrong with those, really, aside from being absolutely useless. According to those definitions having 5 fingers on your hand or having a birthday on the 15th of May are statistics. Those sorts of useless definitions aren’t going to get us business folk anywhere. We need applicable data that we can put into immediate use.

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10 Things You Can Do to Improve Your Home Office Cheaply

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While most of your freelancing hours should go towards billable, client projects, it is also important to spend some time making your working life better. For me, nothing makes me feel happier at work than sitting in a nice office environment. Although I would love to have a really spectacular office filled with expensive designer furniture, the reality is what it is. Like any design project, you have to accept your constraints and work within them.

Here are 10 things you can do to improve your home office on the cheap:

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