Working better to push your boundaries

This is about working better. It’s about work being better, not mind-numbing or boring.

I can barely stay awake. I’m nodding off to sleep so many times today I’ve lost count. Actually, I’m too tired to count. And you know what? I’m wearing a big, silly, happy grin because this is exactly how it ought to be. Why? Because I just worked my proverbial arse off for eight days straight, including at least three all-nighters, in the course of redesigning a literary magazine from cover to cover for Antioch University Seattle‘s KNOCK. I couldn’t be happier.

Somehow, I also fit in writing probably the most powerful piece of poetry I’ve ever penned, designed a logo and packaging for a new client product, and rewrote some client blog posts.

By the end of these eight days, I had no idea what was the date, nor even what day of the week we were on. Perfect.

This is how work ought to be. It’s working better. It’s falling asleep from exhaustion instead of boredom. It’s exciting.

Work was never meant to be a routine set of repeat, mind-numbing actions that bore people to sleep. Was it? Well, if it was, that time is over.

I hope work is designed to be meaningful activity that pushes our capabilities as human beings, brings joy to the mind, manifests better living conditions, and makes the world a good place to be.

People ask how I can pull all-nighters at my age. How can I not? They ask how I stay awake. Same answer. I get so excited by the work that I don’t even have to try to stay awake. I work, therefore, I am awake. (Eventually, of course, I do sleep!)

The last five days of this project were amazing. I was the art director and designer, but I also got to flex my illustration muscles several times over, learn some things about writing (by reading outstanding content), and work with a dedicated team of insanely talented and equally engaged people. They pushed me, and I pushed them back. And vice versa.

For our efforts, we netted a completely redesigned 98-page magazine, which will release on January 20. I’ll be sleeping until the launch party. Well, that and working.

Are you working better? How are you pushing your boundaries?

Kelly Hobkirk - teaching marketers how to harness strategy, goals, reality, and purpose to connect and do better work.


Kelly Hobkirk has been helping companies succeed in creative ways for nearly 25 years. His work has been featured in Time Magazine, and books by Rockport and Rotovision. Get exclusive articles when you sign up for his monthly newsletter.

Thank you! This is going to feel good.

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