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2×4: An Interview with Ev Bogue

2×4: An Interview with Ev Bogue

    2×4: One series that examines two topics, creativity and productivity, by asking those who make things on the web the same four questions on both subjects.

    Right after submitting his answers, former 2×4 participant, CJ Chilvers joked that he wished he had gone the Steve Jobs route and given one word answers. Ironically, this was followed by my receiving exactly that (well at least for the first question) from today’s participant, Ev Bogue. Answers to subsequent questions were also nearly as short, sweet and to the point.

    I won’t lie to you…for an instant there, I was surprised. But then I realized that the exact nature of the answers is exactly why I asked Ev to participate.

    Ev is direct, clear and to the point. You can see that in his regularly email newsletter, you can see that in his posts on Google+. He’s also not a fan of the superfluous. He sheds the unnecessary even when it comes to things like a thriving blog and an active Tweet stream. Ev clearly puts as much, if not more time into choosing what he does as he does actually doing them. His words, as you will see below, are also as carefully chosen as his actions.

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    I could go on, but I doubt that would be in the spirit of today’s guest, so without further ado, here’s an inside look at Ev Bogue.

    Creativity

    Have you always considered yourself a creative person?

    Yes.

    What mediums and inspirations do you gravitate toward to realize your creative goals?

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    Right now I’ve been experimenting with writing for inboxes, and publishing to Google+.

    If you had to point to one thing, what specific posts or creations are you most proud of and why?

    I’m the most proud of working towards telling from experience this year. As a writer, this has strengthened how my work lands with my readers.

    Any suggestions for those who feel they may not be creative enough to unlock their inner artist?

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    Show up every day. Be honest. Ask permission to contact people who are interested in your work.

    Productivity

    Can you describe your current personal and professional responsibilities?

    I write every single day to a group of readers who are interested in what I write.

    How do you go about balancing the personal, professional and digital?

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    I don’t balance anything. I’m 100% invested in my work as a writer online. I’ve tried to take time off, but I don’t know what to do with myself.

    What tools and techniques do you find yourself counting on to get through your workload?

    I write with an 11” Macbook Air. I write in Scrivener. I deliver my work via Mailchimp. I connect with my readers through Gmail and using Google+.

    What is the best starting point for the unproductive amongst us, who are looking to get more organized?

    Hit publish on the work you’re compelled to do every single day.

    More by this author

    2×4: An Interview with David Sparks 2×4: An Interview with Myke Hurley 2×4: An Interview With CJ Chilvers 2X4 Interviews 2×4: An Interview With Gabe Weatherhead 2×4: An Interview With Brett Kelly

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    Last Updated on August 6, 2020

    Why Working 9 to 5 Is Outdated

    Why Working 9 to 5 Is Outdated

    Bristol is the most congested city in England. Whenever I have to work at the office, I ride there, like most of us do. Furthermore, I always make sure to go at off hours; otherwise, the roads are jam-packed with cars, buses, bikes, even pedestrians. Why is that? Because everyone is working a traditional 9 to 5 work day.

    Where did the “9 to 5” Come From?

    It all started back in 1946. The United States government implemented the 40 hour work week for all federal employees, and all companies adopted the practice afterwards. That’s 67 years with the same schedule. Let’s think about all the things that have changed in the 67 years:

    • We went to the moon, and astronauts now live in space on the ISS.

    • Computers used to take up entire rooms and took hours to make a single calculation. Now we have more powerful computers in our purses and back pockets with our smartphones.

    • Lots of employees can now telecommute to the office from hundreds, and even thousands of miles away.

    In 1946 a 9-5 job made sense because we had time after 5pm for a social life, a family life. Now we’re constantly connected to other people and the office, with the Internet, email on our smartphones, and hashtags in our movies and television shows. There is no downtime anymore.

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    Different Folks, Different Strokes

    Enjoying your downtime is an important part of life. It recharges your batteries and lets you be more productive. Allowing people to balance life and work can provide them with much needed perspective and motivation to see the bigger picture of what they are trying to achieve.

    Some people are just more productive when they’re working at their optimal time of day, after feeling well rested and personally fulfilled.  For some that can be  from 4 a.m. to 9 a.m; for others, it could be  2 p.m. to 7 p.m.

    People have their own rhythms and routines. It would be great if we could sync our work schedule to match. Simply put, the imposed 8-hour work day can be a creativity and morale killer for the average person in today’s world.

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    Productivity and Trust Killer

    Fostering creativity among employees is not always an easy endeavor, but perhaps a good place to start is by simply not tying their tasks and goals to a fixed time period. Let them work on their to-do list at their own pace, and chances are, you’ll get the best out of your employee who feels empowered instead of babysat.

    That’s not to say that you should  allow your team to run wild and do whatever they want, but restricting them to a 9 to 5 time frame can quickly demoralize people. Set parameters and deadlines, and let them work at their own creative best with the understanding that their work is crucial to the functioning of the entire team.

    Margaret Heffernan, an entrepreneur who previously worked in broadcasting, noted to Inc that from her experience, “treating employees like grown-ups made it more likely that they would behave the same way.” The principle here is to have your employees work to get things done, not to just follow the hands on the clock.

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    A Flexible Remote Working Policy

    Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer famously recalled all her remote workers, saying she wanted to improve innovation and collaboration, but was that the right decision? We’ve all said that we’re often more productive in a half day working from home than a full day working in the office, right? So why not let your employees work remotely from home?

    There are definitely varying schools of thought on remote working. Some believe that innovation and collaboration can only happen in a boardroom with markers, whiteboards and post-it notes and of course, this can be true for some. But do a few great brainstorms trump a team that feels a little less stressed and a little more free?

    Those who champion remote working often note that these employees are not counting the clock, worried about getting home, cooking dinner or rushing through errands post-work. No one works their 9-5 straight without breaks here and there.  Allowing some time for remote working means employees can handle some non-work related tasks and feel more accomplished throughout the day. Also, sometimes we all need to have a taste of working in our pajamas, right?

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    It’ll be interesting to see how many traditional companies and industries start giving their employees more freedom with their work schedule. And how many end up rescinding their policies like Yahoo did.

    What are your thoughts of the traditional 9-5 schedule and what are you doing to help foster your team’s productivity and creativity? Hit the comments and let us know.

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