Pauli Rinne // October 19 2017
Rocketing Creativity by Working Fewer Hours
It’s a cold, dark and rainy Monday morning in Finland. There won’t be any sunlight for hours. Why on earth am I so hyped then? It happens to be one of those times when I have some time off and I’m going for some surfing action, the dark and stormy Finnish way.
Why am I telling you this? It’s because the hype doesn’t stop there. I’ve realised that in my personal case, working just a bit less and doing the other things one lives for just a bit more actually increases the quality of all things, including the quality of work.
My name is Pauli Rinne and I’m working at Digitalist Group as a UX Designer. I would like to share my experiences of my shortened working time. Having an unpaid extra day off every week is something I have agreed together with Digitalist in order to have a better balance between work and my many time consuming hobbies.
In many occasions really enjoying my hobbies, mainly surfing and kiteboarding, takes at least a full day. There is driving, equipment hassle and physical preparation involved. With too much rush and pushing oneself, the result is usually an injury of some sort, at least a mental one from all the frustration. And with frustration, one doesn’t really accomplish anything great on any front. And in any case, these kind of activities are just so much sweeter with a relaxed feeling to accompany them.
Even though all this might sound just like downshifting, I wouldn’t call myself a downshifter. I would rather call myself a balancer. Because from my point of view, nothing is going downwards. A wise man once told me that personal results in work equal one’s skills times motivation to the power of two. In other words, nothing happens without motivation. And with great motivation great things happen. And in my case, the working time arrangement with the feeling of balance increases motivation like crazy!
In my line of work as a UX Designer and a problem solver the impact is easy to see. Especially the creative side of the job is getting a supercharge. I’ve found myself again and again hit by an answer lightning-like after a good ol’ soak in the sea. I could argue that in my case there is a direct relation between the time I spend marinating myself in the salt waters and the creativity of my work.
To be honest, my hobbies don’t really have any direct synergy with the work. But what they are is a great way to reboot. And that’s exactly what one needs from time to time when dealing with problems that seem unsolvable at first. And nevertheless, I’d argue that any line of work has some sort of walls one hits occasionally. Rather than trying to climb the walls, it’s better to have something external that helps you jump right over them.
Jumping over the walls. Photo credit to my awesome colleague Eliana Sarpila.
All this comes with two way trust and the responsibility to shine in the job. Working as a UX Designer in today’s organisations sometimes requires flexibility on working times on my part too. But I’m happy to work the occasional long day when I know that the flexibility works both ways.
I wouldn’t want to hand out my experience as an universal recipe, but I encourage you to give a similar arrangement a try, especially if you’re working with any kind of problem solving.
UX Designer at Digitalist Group, water sports enthusiast