Utilizing “Binge” Productivity


Creative Commons License photo credit: Irina Souiki

This week I’ve been trying something new. Instead of making a todo list for the day and hammering out as many items as I can before the 5 ‘o clock whistle, I’m participating in what I like to call “Binge Productivity”. In a nutshell, Binge Productivity is working productively on whatever I want for as long as I want. And I have to say, it’s working out pretty well for me.

There will always be things that have to be done every day (aka Stephen Covey’s “big rocks“). You should never miss these. Once you’re done doing the time sensitive things though, your time is totally free to work on any project that needs to be done sometime soon, but not immediately. So here’s what my last few days have looked like so far.

TuesdayPersonal Project. Worked solely on a uber-cool yet secret project. It’s one of my own, and once I started working on it, I totally got sucked in and worked for about 6 hours straight on it.

TodayFocused on LifeDev. Wrote one blog post and found myself among a bed of fresh ideas for other posts. Instead of moving on to another task in the todo list, I started writing two more blog posts. I also worked on sending emails to future guest posters and set up a guest post for myself on another great blog.

So as you can see, it’s a much more flexible approach to working. It gives me the ability to work on what tickles my fancy each day, yet things are still getting done. But there are some soft spots to this approach. I’ve outlined some pros and cons to Binge Productivity below.

Pros

  • Do what you want. There’s much less focus on only doing what’s on the list, and more on what’s on your heart. The choice is yours.
  • More flow. It’s easier to get in the flow of a project when you don’t have to worry about checking something off of a list.
  • Lighter work experience. There’s no buzzkill like starting the day knowing that you’ll be doing a task you hate for three hours. Binge Productivity allows for a much lighter work atmosphere.

Cons

  • Deadlines. Even though the mood is much lighter, every now and again I find myself worrying about whether or not I’m getting everything done I should. It’s almost a guilty feeling due to the fact that I’m enjoying work so much.
  • Too Free. Sometimes it’s easier to want to just stop working and do whatever the heart desires with Binge Productivity. Because there is a lot of flexibility associated in the workflow, it almost seems natural to just want to stop working altogether.
  • No Real Quittin’ Time. Because of the freedom, it’s harder to stop working at a static time. But that could just be my experience.

While there are definitely still some kinks to be worked out, I really enjoy the Binge Productivity system. It’s a much more palatable workday, if you’re the type of person who doesn’t always like a lot of structure.

What are your thoughts? Am I off my rocker suggesting this type of system? Or do you think it could be a viable option for web workers? I’d love to hear your thoughts below.

Leave a Comment

{ 16 comments… add one }
  • http://www.gamegoldhacks.pro/ May 8, 2017, 9:34 am

    Yeah that’s what I’m talking about baby–nice work!

  • Elly April 30, 2017, 8:04 am

    It’s a plaesure to find someone who can identify the issues so clearly

  • Rafal May 20, 2008, 11:58 am

    I like the metaphore. To me this looks like getting into state of flow. You are highly focused and concentrated on the task and quickly move to the next one.
    But as the guys said before me if binge too much it looses it’s value and benefits so keep balance while binging

  • Martin Muehl April 28, 2008, 3:59 pm

    I agree with Matt that it’s great on a periodic basis but I would tend to get lost in details and focus too much on small things instead of the “bigger picture”. I think it’s a great thing to try it if you feel that you start to procrastinate on something – just do something you love and get in the flow again!

  • Francis April 13, 2008, 7:03 pm

    I agree with Brennan above about the need to have a schedule, but one that is so flexible that it feels OK to throw it out at any moment.

    The problem of going with the flow without a schedule is that you cannot be 100% engaged while worrying about what you might be forgetting. What good scheduling technique creates is a freedom to focus on what is in front of us, knowing that all the other stuff is safely assigned to time slots in which they can get done before their respective due dates.

  • glen April 13, 2008, 4:44 pm

    @Ann- I agree with the analogy of too much chocolate in the house. It’s easy to get TOO lost in the stuff we want to do,and not spend enough time on the stuff we have to do. There’s a delicate balance in there somewhere.

  • Brennan Kingsland April 13, 2008, 8:12 am

    My natural method of operation is binge productivity, work on what feels right at the time. Unfortunately, I’m not productive in the long run. I tend to spend too much time on projects I like and not enough on the tasks I’m not as comfortable with.
    The only thing that works for me is a list. And on that list I put the disagreeable tasks into small time slots, so they don’t seem overwhelming. I’ve learned that the only way (for me) to break down those “big rocks” is to FORCE MYSELF to spend a manageable amount of time breaking them up, on a daily basis. Otherwise, I’d spend all my time playing with hex codes and graphic images.
    I admit it, I need structure and a plan.

  • Matt @ Corporate Hack April 12, 2008, 5:25 pm

    I like the idea of ‘binge’ productivity on a periodic basis… maybe it’s the way to end the week (Friday’s are ‘binge’ days). However, using this method on a daily basis would leave me feeling a little misguided.

  • Ann April 11, 2008, 2:58 pm

    This feels as dangerous to me as having that table full of chocolate in the house! One of the suggested ways to recover from a problem with binge eating is to declare that “no food is illegal/off limits”. Maybe the same would work for projects: making it legitimate to lose yourself in something you love to do.

  • Avani April 10, 2008, 3:12 pm

    This system seems great. I have been trying something like this for past month or so. While most of times it works great, I have caught myself doing one task more than other since it’s more enjoyable or the other task is something I wanted to avoid. Having a weekly deadline has really helped me. It ensures that I finish set amount of work. And still I am free to choose what task do I want to pick up right now.

    • Tiger April 29, 2017, 6:02 pm

      hmCom.arl.s Falco he was the one who was married to Isabel Preysler few years back…got fampus for that hahaha..Boy that seemed like a very hectic day…and tiring

  • glen April 10, 2008, 2:44 pm

    Excellent point Michael. Next step: Only take on projects that you love ;)

  • Michael Henreckson April 10, 2008, 1:14 pm

    I think the success of the system will depend upon the type of work you’re doing and how much you like it. If you’re a free-lancer, pretty much setting your own schedule, choosing your projects and in love with your work, it has a lot of possibility. What I like is that it makes use of your maximum productivity times. Just like when you got into the groove with your uber-cool project. We can get a lot more done if we work at the times when we feel like working rather than the times when the deadlines dictate.

    It’s a lot less likely to work if you hate what you’re working on. Which means maybe I shouldn’t try it with school because my profs probably won’t react to kindly when I miss deadlines and give the excuse that some blogger suggested it was better if I only worked on what I felt like working on. :)