Recently I’ve been having trouble maintaining as much focus as I’d like on my work during the day, with the result that getting through my Will Do list has taken me far longer than it should. Today I am trying out a new method (for me) of alternating focussed periods of work and periods in which I let my mind freewheel and do whatever I feel like without any particular focus. The idea is that the unfocussed periods will make it easier to maintain focus when I’m supposed to be focussing.
The rhythm I am doing is 90 minutes focus, followed by 20 unfocussed. I started quite early today, a bit before 8am, and am getting close to the first 20 minutes of rest. So far I’ve noticed a definite improvement in how well I have been able to maintain my focus on my Will Do list.
Of course I have been recommending definite work periods followed by definite rest periods for years. The difference here is that the 90-20-90-20 sequence is not tied into any exact time. I can start the sequence when I am ready to and the idea is that I maintain it throughout the day, until I have finished my Will Do list. I’ll be interested to see if that is earlier or later than usual.
This technique is mainly suitable for home workers such as myself who can control their own work time. For others who are constrained by the demands of an office (or children!), it would probably be difficult to implement.
I’m interested to see how it goes though, because research has shown that 90 minutes work followed by 20 minutes rest is the optimal balance between work and rest.