What Is The Right Number of Projects?

A few months back as I was in the middle of a 6x per week weight training regimen, there were literally 3 days in a row where this weird thing happened.

I would be listening to a podcast, and someone would say the following: The perfect number of projects for a creative to be working on simultaneously is five.

FIVE!?!

How on Earth, I thought, can anyone juggle FIVE projects at the same time? It seemed ridiculous, but here I was, dumbfounded, that three different podcasts over three different days said the same thing.

I don’t remember the exact arguments, something about productivity probably, and another about how your brain works given different number of creative pursuits.

Anyway, I decided to try it.

Not right then, obviously. I needed to focus on my squat reps.

But over the last few months I’ve allowed myself to start thinking about adding some time on other projects throughout the week. Mainly that means early mornings or late nights, but I’ve started working on a new book (see my first one here), we added a new weekly political web series, I’ve spent a large part of this week working on revamping my wife’s website from scratch, and all of that on top of my normal full time job of doing client work and fundraising for a feature film.

All told, I’ve probably put in 80+ hours of work over each of the last few weeks, about 45 or so each week in an “official” capacity.

You know what though? It feels good. It feels really good.

I feel way more productive, my spirits seem lifted somehow, and I’m actually getting MORE done, believe it or not.

What do you know? Guess the podcast people were on to something.

What do you think? Have you tried/experimented with something similar?

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