I’ve been reminding myself this week of how effective the use of timed bursts can be. In particular, the method which I have been using to crack a number of major highly-resistable tasks is the use of a series of bursts of increasing length. The sequence is a burst of 5 minutes, then 10 minutes, then 15 minutes and so on - each time adding another 5 minutes to the length of the burst.
Although my book “Get Everything Done” recommends alternating these bursts on several tasks, I’ve been using the method on one task at a time. I’ve found a 2 minute gap between the bursts works best for me, though this may depend on the nature of the task and the person doing the task!
Using this method I’ve cleared among other things a backlog of paper that had been refusing to shift, caught up with the adminstrative work for my coming seminars, and sorted out action needed on my financial arrangements. These are all things which had been hanging around for some time, and of course building up resistance.
This method is ideal for use with the Current Initiative in the Do It Tomorrow system. There are two main reasons why it works so well. The first is that by starting with a short burst of only 5 minutes you get through the worst part of any project, which is making a start. The second reason is that having a clearly defined burst of action concentrates your work. By the time you get to a 40-minute burst you will have spent three hours on the task. But you will have accomplished far more than if you had just worked for three hours straight. If you don’t believe me, try it!