Write the boss a letter

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I’m in Melbourne this week, hosting our bi-annual ACP Onboarding session.

Walking back from lunch I overheard a great conversation between two graphic designers, one worth sharing.

One of the two designers, was fairly new to the world of freelancing.  The other guy – the guy who had (presumably) been at it a while longer than his friend – had a strategy he used to stay focused and productive in the world beyond the 9-5.

Like most of us, he would set a schedule for the week; one that would keep him productive, on track with growth plans and operating at (basically) optimal performance.  And then, like many of us, life happened… almost every week.  And, inevitably, he’d want to sleep in one day or take a morning off, duck out early, etc.

It’s easy, when you work for yourself or work with minimal supervision to justify the breaks.  Particularly if you’re procrastinating doing the hard work. The important work.

But I digress.

Experienced-guy’s solution was to write his boss a letter.

He would open up a new email, address it to himself, and then start writing his excuse for not being able to work when he had committed to.  As he explained to his friend, it was typically around the third line and/or the words “I’m hungover” that would be the tipping point.  He’d delete the draft and get back to work.

It’s amazing how a little accountability (even to yourself) can help you separate the justified excuses from the legitimate.

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