Biz Features

Productivity is a Marathon

by . February 2nd, 2015

When you end up cramming your work, pulling late hours and sleepless nights, you’re not doing too much work, you’re doing no work at all.

Let me be honest. I’ve been interrupted countless times typing this post and most if not all of it is my fault. Whether it be talking to friends about a hangout later, or getting a higher score at Super Hexagon or Ridiculous Fishing, I just kept getting distracted.

Did you ever notice that you tend to do more work early in the morning at home when the family’s still asleep? Or you tend to race toward business goals when the electricity or internet provider is down? There are just a lot less distractions.

When you’re at work and it’s right after lunch, people start making meetings or dwell upon what to do when they get home. They still know that there still is work to be done. It’s just that a tiny break won’t do much harm to your progress, right? Unfortunately, what was supposed to take the mythical 5 minutes ends up producing layers of excuses and eye-spy games that take up hours of precious time.

The thing with this alone time is that it doesn’t work in tiny bursts. You can’t expect the same amount of work to be done in 4 15 minute sprints as it would in one hour. It takes time and momentum to get into the right zone. Taking tiny breaks in between would mean you’d need to start your engine all over again.

Now if you’ve read my previous posts. I’m an anti-workaholic. I believe that everything has a time and place, including work and rest, and that each of those events is important. However, I also believe that everything has a better time to be accomplished.

Let’s say you work in a shared office space and most everyone has lunch at 11 AM to 12. By eating some other time, you can spend that hour in quiet, hasting towards that next acquisition. Of course, it’s nice to eat with others from time to time. It keeps you sane and networked.

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However, this is just one example and a lot others don’t need to be set off hours. Set time spans where you’re not distractable. Put on headphones if you have to. Politely decline meetings that you’re not needed in. Turn on your answering machine and mute that phone.

Go all the way. This is an excellent thing to take to extremes. Become the hermit that stereotypical depressed novelists aspire to be and get your work done. Close all the unneeded windows, turn off your phone, pack up enough snacks and water. You’ll be zooming through work in no time.