Being self-employed, I never complain about being too busy. Of course, there are periods when I’m not busy and these give me time to write on this blog or on togetherLearn or pick up an interesting book. I have even taken up reviewing books for some publishers because I can usually find the time to do so and it’s cheap professional development for me. My friend and colleague, Michele Martin talks about the breathing room we independents have for thinking or “creativity” that many salaried workers just don’t have the time for:
But it’s easy to focus on doing cool things in new and different ways when you have some breathing room. When you don’t, I can see where it’s just annoying to hear people tell you that you should be open to new ideas. Hello–I’m just trying to get through the day here. I have no time for your “creativity.”
I believe that this “breathing room” makes me a much better consultant to my clients. I have the time to read or research a topic in depth. I can spend time trying out a new tool or platform. This “luxury” is my business advantage. No one pays for this learning time, only my productive time, but in many cases I’ve spent a fair bit of time on a generic problem before I’m contacted by a client. At the risk of putting consultants out of business, I would even suggest that employees be given more time to think and even play so that they can become internal consultants for workplace change. As Michele says:
Creativity shouldn’t–can’t–be a luxury, though. It can’t be something that we bring to a problem only when we have the space and time for it, because more often than not, we will be in situations where we lack both.