What’s Keeping You From Being Inspired?

It’s crucial to know your foe.

Before you can effectively improve a situation – any situation, in any context – you have to know what obstacles have prevented you from making a decent change up until that point, right? If I want to lose weight, I need to know, for instance, that my biggest temptation is the Dunkin’ Donuts exactly halfway between my house and my daughter’s school … mmmm…. donuts …

Oops. Sorry.

ANYWAY. Yes, I need to know that, so I can find another route. Likewise, if I want to be more productive and more inspired as a solo, I need to know what’s keeping me from being productive and inspired right now.

Dr. Judi Craig writes here for The Complete Lawyer that one excellent way to do a little detective work in this area is to create and keep an interruptions log.   Dr. Craig suggests doing this for several days – I’d say at least a week – in order to get a fuller picture of who and what is causing those little time-killing, soul-sucking interruptions in your days.

Now, a seven-minute phone call here or two minutes to read an email there might not seem so very significant to you. But think of it this way: those minutes add up! In fact, as Dr. Craig points out, given an average interruption time of 10 minutes, an average of 10 interruptions a day (which might seem on the low side to some of us!), and a $200 hourly rate, you’re losing $100,000 a year.   That’s worth recovering, don’t you think?

Of course, as an Inspired Solo, I don’t want to focus on those billable hours. Do you? No, I’d rather put my attention and focus on delivering quality work to my clients, offering flat rates wherever possible, and freeing up all the doubt and suspicion that the billable hour model creates – turning that energy into a reserve that I can use for creative purposes. Say, for instance, a new marketing project. Or developing a new niche area. Or just taking some time to engage in a little strategic brainstorming for the next stage in my practice’s evolution.

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