“Don’t waste a single second. Just move forward as fast as you can and go for it.” – Rebecca Woodcock
This is one tough order to fill. Can we ever just move forward as fast as we can without some period of rest and recuperation? I don’t think we can.
Our reality is filled with cycles. We awake, and we sleep. We work and rest. Even our hearts have pauses between the beats.
I think each of us has a consciousness about when we work best and when we just need a break. These breaks could be a nap, relaxing on the couch, doing some mindless web surfing, or taking a breather at the gym. We must have periods of rest that accompany our work.
When we work, we should focus on the work. Like I’ve said before, I use the Pomodoro technique when I am doing focused work. I work for 25 minutes, take 5 minutes for a break and again and again. Try this for yourself. Maybe 25 and 5 don’t work for you. Maybe 30 and 10 or 45 and 15. Whatever the break down is, use that as a starting point. Heck, you can even reduce these numbers. Say you start with 15 minutes and take a 5-minute break. Whatever you start with, begin with this and adjust the numbers as you gain more comfort with it. The timer on your phone or computer is just fine. There’s no need to download an app for this.
If you’ve never done this before, you’ll find that your focus muscles will need work. It is so easy to drift off and do something else. If you find yourself having difficulty with focus you can also use another tool that I have used over the years with great success—meditation.
Meditation in its simplest form is literally nothing more than focusing on the breath. Breath in. Breath out. Again, you’ll find this to be a little challenging initially. I use two different meditation apps to help. One is called Calm; the other is called headspace. There are probably a number of others out there, but these are the two that I gravitated to. You’ll find over time that you’ll be more relaxed and focusing will be much easier. You can focus on your breath at any time.
So, remember that there are cycles of work and rest. During our work, we should focus on the work and nothing else. Pick one task, focus on it until you’re complete. If it is a big task, break that into smaller tasks that can be accomplished with one or more 25-minute periods of work. Once you’re done, move on to the next and so on.
This stuff works if you give it a chance. You’ll find yourself getting more done in a shorter amount of time and you’ll automatically be more productive. I hope you give this a try. Feel free to reply to this posting with any questions, successes, or challenges you come across.
Until next time…