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The Key to Creative Work Is Knowing When to Walk Away

There is a moment in the Netflix documentary series Abstract that's stayed with me: Illustrator Christoph Niemann is hard at work when he notices that it's 6 p.m. Without hesitation, he stops what he's doing, grabs his jacket, and leaves the office. As a viewer, I was shocked. Isn't clock-watching only for people who hate their jobs? Wasn't he in his flow? What if he couldn't find his rhythm again tomorrow?

Over the next few days, I became obsessed with this seemingly small moment. "Discipline equals freedom," as in the book by former Navy SEAL Jocko Willink, had been my oft-repeated mantra. But this made me question everything I'd been taught about the importance of muscling through creative projects. Was that even "discipline" at all?

Continued here

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