“We think, mistakenly, that success is the result of the amount of time we put in at work, instead of the quality of the time we put in.” – Arianna Huffington
I think this is a really important point. What is quality work? To me, quality work occurs when we are focused on the task at hand and the effort we put into the task results in what we set out to do in the first place. I’ll use writing as an example.
I think anyone in my reading audience would agree with this statement: “You can write down 200 words one day and it is absolute crap. The next day those 200 words are a masterpiece.” The question is: “How can we achieve that 200-word masterpiece every day?”
I think the best way to achieve quality is to focus. Focus causes us to stick with one thing until we’re done with it. This focus will keep us on task and allow us to continue working on something until it achieves the “end state” we are seeking.
Some folks can focus without any outside help. I am jealous of those people. I have to use tools. One of the tools I use is “The Pomodoro Technique”. This technique involves the use of a timer. The basic idea behind this technique is to concentrate on a single task for 25 minutes then take a 5-minute break. This continues until we are completed with our task. It is suggested that we should never try to accomplish a task that takes longer than 5 sessions (25 minutes each). This is easy if you break your larger tasks down into 25-minute sessions.
Initially, this is tough. I always underestimate or overestimate the length of time it takes to get something done. However, over time you’ll find that the tasks you do day in and day out are roughly the same. You’ll start to get better at estimating the time it takes to do things and you will become more efficient at scheduling your time.
If you’ve never heard of The Pomodoro Technique, just do a quick google search and you’ll find a lot of information about it everywhere. Try it out. You may find that your productivity actually improves quite a bit.
Until next time…