I was recently inspired by an article by Steve Pavlina (www.stevepavlina.com) on a method for productivity, which consists of working like crazy for a week, and then taking a week off to focus on your personal life.
Steve always has interesting articles and this one caught my attention. So this week I’m turning into a workaholic, working 10-12+ hours every day and doing almost nothing else.
Next week, I’ll be doing almost no work (except a few emails) and instead I’ll focus on all those personal projects I’ve put on hold for too long.
Even though I’ve never tried this particular technique before, I’ve experimented with various ways to separate my work and personal life.
For example, for a number of years a favorite method of mine used to be to rent a hotel room for the weekend and “lock myself up” to work on a single project.
Because of the different environment and also the pressure of having paid for that hotel room and needing to make good use of it, and the lack of distractions, I got a lot more done in that one weekend than I normally do in an entire week (or two!).
A friend of mine who also works at home follows a different technique: he works one day and then takes a day off. He’s been doing that for over a year and likes being able to focus intensely on his business for a day, and then take a day off.
Another variation of that is my previous method of working three days a week and then taking four days off.
Before that, I had a different method which was to work 3-4 hours a day and then take the rest of the day off.
What all these methods have in common is they allow you to focus more intensely for short periods of time on your projects, and then give you plenty of time to recover.
The method that does NOT work so well is what everybody does, which is to mix work with distractions all day long, and do that day in, and day out.
For example: work 30 minutes on something, then check your emails, then check your Facebook messages, then go back to what you were doing, then check out some blog on the Internet, and so on and so forth.
With that way of working, you’re distracting yourself all the time and are not spending enough focused time on ONE particular project.
If you want results, you’ll need to master the art of focused attention.
You’ll also need to master the art of recovery, so during your “off” time you’re not just watching TV shows and sleeping, but doing something active to advance your personal life.
That may mean reading all those novels you’ve been meaning to read, or taking a trip somewhere, or picking up a new language, or spending more time with your family.
The best way to understand this philosophy is in the saying:
Work Hard, Play Hard
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