• Danico Blog
JAN
23
0

Insomnia - Great for Creatives?

Insomnia - Great for Creatives?

How timely was it that the article by Jane Porter, How To Turn Your Insomnia Into A Productivity Tool in Fast Company's Business + Innovation section appeared in my Twitter feed?   Recently I've been having trouble sleeping. I'm not quite sure why but so far this week it not been unusual to find me roaming my home at some odd hour. I don't sleep much as it is, I wake up automatically after 6 hours regardless of what time I go to bed.  I also tend to wake early if it is bright sunny day even with light blocking curtains covering the windows.  I just sense that the sun is up and that I should be up as well. 

The past week or so, I get into bed and.....nothing.  Can't drift off.  This is odd for me, I tend to fall asleep soon as I burrow down under the covers. On the rare occasion that automatic sleep eludes me, I play a few rounds of one of the games on my smartphone, sometimes falling the sleep in the middle of a turn. However, these last few days that has not been working. I don’t know the exact cause, but there are some many exciting things happening all at once here at Danico.  Between work on new service offerings being considered for launch soon, new website design and meeting so many new people (some of whom I'm happy to say are now clients), I’m finding it hard to sleep.  I shut down all devices, do some stretches and crawl into bed.  Just as my eyes close - wham!  A few ideas flit through my brain, I grab my tablet or notebook, which ever happens to be next to the bed to hurriedly jot down my thoughts. With that out of the way, I try for sleep again.  Nope, not coming.  A couple of times recently, thoughts were so strong I was compelled to get out of bed, return to my office and work.  The session was short, but only then was I able to sleep.  Lucky for me my office is just down the hall.  Not sure if I would have been compelled to drive to an office or just be awake all night.  I don't want to find out.   In the article, Michael Perlis, associate professor of psychology and director of the Behavioral Sleep Medicine Program at the University of Pennsylvania, posed the the question, "What is insomnia, but the gift of more time?”  For the freelancer/small business owners/dreamer, there never seems to be enough time get all the things that need to be done and all the things you want to do.  So, maybe Professor Perlis has a point.  The moments where I give in and work at some odd hour, which seems for me to be 4:30 am, solutions/designs/code snippets, that have eluded me, flow freely.  I race to grab them all fearful that they will vanish.  I won't say that they are all brilliant but they definitely move me down the path of the right answer for that client or situation.   This temporary insomnia is causing an internal war.  The analyst in me wants to launch a study of the frequency, triggers and length of the episodes.  The problem solver wants to just get it solved and get to sleep.  The designer/developer in me wants to roll with, excited by the thoughts that spring forth, ready to harvest them and share with the world.  So, who’s winning?  I’ll give you a hint, is not the analyst (*wink*).  Seriously though, I’ve learned to treat this temporary insomnia like “thinking out of the box” moments.  Sometimes you just have to turn things on their head to find the right solution.  Maybe, just maybe, sometimes that means doing the same with your sleep cycle. Hey, isn't there a saying about finding inspiration at the oddest moments?  I thought there was or maybe I was just dreaming.  Maybe those oddest moments are your sleepless periods.  Why not run with them and see what greatness comes of it.

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JAN
02
0

Being Productive

Being Productive

It's a new year and many are making resolutions, plans and priorities.  Getting organized, being productive often is at the top of the list, of work priorities that is.  Admittedly, I think about it too at the turn of the year.  I like the sense of accomplishment that comes from a clear inbox and an empty to-do list.  The little sense of victory as I eagerly check the box next to each item and see that list dwindle to nothing.  However, sometimes it so dang hard to get there.  It seems like that list just gets longer and longer.  The mixture of fun, must-do and not-so-fun tasks all screaming for attention.  There are so many suggestions, processes and theories around to tackle, conquer and tame the list.  I've even attempted to share/inspire you to success with a suggestion or two of my own. 

Today, as I read Kathleen Davis' article "11 Expert Tips to Help You Be More Productive in 2014" on FastCompany.com, it got me to thinking about what has worked, or didn't work for me over the past year - both personally and professionally. For my best results, I have to work within my personal productivity times.  I'm a morning person, that is the best time for me to write and plan.  It's the time when my creative juices run strong.  I need to harness it all before 11 am.  That's not a problem for me as I rise early.  My father used to tease me about the number of things I get done between 6 am and 11 am vs. the rest of the day.  However, there is one thing that I don't seem to do well at the beginning of the day - code.  I mean the totally-geeky-its-so-cool type of coding.  That seems to work best after hours when there is no sun tempting me to come out and play, little-to-no chance of client calls to happily distract me and no meetings to dream/discuss the future.  Coding, especially after dinner is my personal productive coding sweet spot.  I don't know why, but I'm not knocking it.   At the end of the day, it is important to know yourself and what works best for you.  Experts, and non-experts, can give you advice but you have to piece together what fits your world - life, work, passion, situation.  There is one thing that is clear, multi-tasking doesn't cut it.  Chunk up your time, assign a task to that time and run with it.  You'd be surprised how much you can get done.  There's a saying about not pleasing everyone all the time, well you can't do everything all the time either.  That was a hard one for me to swallow and there are still some days when I try to do it all - all at the same time. I've got to run, the "write blog" time chunk has ended.

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JUN
17
0

From our reading list...June 17th

From our reading list...June 17th

Here's the next installment of our reading list.  In addition to some of our favorite online sources, based on suggestions from readers like you, we've added a couple new ones to the list.

Enjoy!

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JUN
04
0

Paper?! Yup - always to start

Paper?! Yup - always to start

The other day I called on a prospective client to open discussions on creating their web presence.  As we sat down to talk about their goals, I noticed the odd look I received when I pulled out paper and a pen. You see, I start with paper - always.  It may be blank or simple lined paper but most of the time it is storyboard paper (think the handout view in PowerPoint or Keynote).  It may sound a bit strange but there is a reason.  Don't get me wrong with all of the computers and other electronic devices I own or have access to, I could never touch a piece of paper, ever. 

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NOV
04
0

Sandwiches, Sandy and Social Media

FastCompany.com | Christina Chaey | November 2, 2012 | How Seamless Defied Sandy, Kept The Hot Meals Coming, And Inspired Twitter Love

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SEP
09
0

From our reading list...Sept 10th Edition

From time to time, we are asked about what we read.  Here are some articles we thought you might enjoy:

No Excuses

Entrepreneur.com | Nadia Goodman | August 30, 2012 | 4 Ways to Stop Making Excuses and Follow Your Passion

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