I've been reading Michael's blog, listening to his podcasts and reading his charming books for a number of years. Michael, who has M.E., as do I, is so good at maintaining a life of creativity around his limited energy. Today he writes:
Last week was a busy week.
As well as running the Get The One Thing a Day Habit course for the first time I was working hard on getting some sample pages ready for the book I’m working on for Perigee Books.
I thought I’d planned things well, leaving myself plenty of time for rest and recuperation, but problems with my home Internet connection meant that I had to go to town everyday to upload material for the course and the book and do all the other things that I rely on having a connection to the web for (most of what I do!).
Being forced to focus
At the beginning of the week I really enjoyed my trips to town. I was forced to focus, carefully planning and fitting everything I needed to do into the couple of hours I was in town for. Making (I thought) the very best use of my time.
I also got to eat a pot of delicious steaming porridge and jam every morning!
However, as the week went on I became increasingly tired.
Micro-productivity vs intense focus
I’m a big believer in the value of focus. Focusing most days on just one small thing is the way I keep my creative life ticking over and, as the years have gone by, the way I’ve built up a body of work. However, I tend to focus in very small chunks of time. I am micro-productive.
Being forced to focus everything I’d usually get done in a whole day into a couple of hours, and needing to do that at the same time each day has reminded me how lucky I normally am to be able to set my own agenda and work schedule.
Whilst at the beginning of the week I thought this sort of intense focus might be a good way for me to work (it did mean all my work was just done early in the day), as the days went on I saw just how unsustainable it was over any length of time.
Now my Internet connection seems to be more stable again, I’m delighted that I can return to my little and often way of working. I am, however, missing my daily pot of porridge!
More in the next Important Work Letter
I’m going to be writing more about what my week of porridge and forced focus has taught me about the value of micro-productivity in the next issue of The Important Work Letter.
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