Jason Fried, co-founder of 37 Signals, has a good article on productivity and creativity with some counterintuitive points. Here’s the beginning:
A few weeks ago, I was on fire. I was working on some designs for a prototype of a new software product, and the ideas were flowing as they hadn’t in months. Every day, I felt as if I were accomplishing two or three days’ worth of work. I was in the zone, and it felt fantastic.
It lasted about three weeks. And then I found myself back at my old pace. Instead of being superproductive, I was sort-of productive. Some days, I felt as if I barely accomplished anything.
So what was wrong? Nothing at all.
I believe it’s perfectly fine to spend some of your time, maybe even a lot of your time, not firing on all cylinders. Just like full employment isn’t necessarily good for an economy, full capacity isn’t always great for your mind.