When my day is all about one thing, when I have just one job to do, when there’s nothing around to distract me … I get sluggish.
Nothing can take my mind from sharp, bright and quick to dull, dark, and struggling like being stuck doing just one thing for an over extended period of time.
But the good thing is that, for me, the cause would seem to be the cure.
It takes planning …
If I have just one job to do, I don’t approach it like I’m stuck at it for the duration.
Instead, I set myself a time goal. I’ll work at it for an hour, and then I’ll take a 10 minute break. I set a timer, and then I do as I please for that ten minutes.
I make no plans about my break in advance. But, if I think of something I want to do while I’m working, I just say to myself, “Fine, that will be my break.” If I remember it when my break time comes, that’s what I do.
The sweet spot!
Here’s the great part, when I take my break, the plan is to forget completely about the job I’m working on. And if I can, I try to forget about the timer, too. I know I’m in the “break zone” if that timer goes off and surprises me.
Back to work
When I return to the job, it’s actually amazing how much easier it is to work, especially knowing that there’s another break coming.
The whole thing becomes a challenge, do my best at more than one thing.
Once I’ve been at it for a while, I can adjust my times to suit the situation. The breaks stay at ten minutes, but the length of time I work gets changed based on how well I’m doing. Getting bugged out and bored before my break comes up means shorter work times. Finding myself zoned in and hyper focused means longer between breaks.
Actually, if I get hyper focused, I might forget to take my break. In that case, the problem has been solved, the breaks worked in a different way or I discovered an interest in the thing I had to do.
But best of all …
The best part of this is that, when I remember to approach work in this way, I get my work done with a minimum of effort, and a minimum amount of inner child whining.
The truth is, that work not only feels like it gets done faster when I approach it like this, it actually does get done faster.
Now how does that work?