True productivity is all about the flow. There’s absolutely nothing like it. Time seems to stand still and you are fully immersed in whatever you are doing. You are truly present.
For me, my greatest periods of flow are when I am writing. Time loses all meaning. It’s just me and the page before me. Then, the words come spilling out as if I’m not really writing but rather the words are being birthed through me.
For hours, I just write. I’m in my own little world. I don’t answer the phone. I don’t eat. I don’t even go to the bathroom.
Then, when I’m done, I’m completely spent. Everything is left on the page. This is how the best of the best of what I put to page is written.
Of course, getting that deeply into the flow demands that you truly love what you are doing. The activity itself has to be something that resonates deeply within. Perhaps, it’s not so far off to say that it is an expression of your soul, a glimpse of the true self.
Smooth the Flow
With that said, there are several important things to do to help smooth the flow of everyday activities to improve overall productivity. Probably the most important is to schedule blocks of time for like activities. Chunks of time where you dedicate yourself to a single type of task.
No multitasking. No breaks. No checking your email or peaking at your Facebook feed.
The amount of time per chunk depends upon the task at hand. Small tasks might only take half an hour. Larger tasks might take one or two hours.
Wherever possible, plan task blocks into your day. Big projects. Email. Whatever. To help you organize, I’ve created some guidelines for you to follow in the course workbook.
Two important notes. For big projects, it may take up to half an hour to get back into the flow after a disruption. So, each time you are disrupted, expect your productivity to go back down to nil.
Also, if you’ve been plugging away at something for an hour and you are still fighting, then it’s time to take a break. Pushing isn’t going to help. It’s actually likely to do the opposite, creating substandard work that you’ll have to correct later anyways.