Part Three – Work in Short, Focused Bursts
This is Part Three of a three-part series about leaning into simple practices and disciplines that allow you to move steadily toward making money in fresh, new ways. This series showcases the principles and practices we use in the Monetize Your Message Action Circle.
When you are smart and complicated, you have a tendency to value the big, the grand, the elaborate, over the small, the simple, and the humble.
In terms of work productivity, that can look like minimizing the value of taking small steps or making incremental shifts, and looking down on setting the bar low for what you accomplish each day.
The prevailing thought is: If I can’t spend three hours on this today, it’s not worth spending ten minutes. And then too many days go by without that big investment of time, and your commitment to your important-but-easy-to-put-off project gets postponed so long you begin to lose the drive to make it happen.
That’s why in the action circle, we encourage the discipline of working on your projects in short, focused bursts.
A work burst means spending 5-45 minutes working on a specific, and important, project without interruption.
When you master the work burst, you start to realize that doing 5-10-15 minutes a day on a big, important project actually adds up quickly.
If you have the luxury of a full work day to do what you want, you can do several longer work bursts. But if you have a more typical day full of other commitments, you also realize that you can squeeze in a short burst here and there between things and move forward without the luxury of a lot of time.
In fact, I wrote everything in this article up to this point in the 7 minutes I had between taking my son to school in the morning and going to ballet class, which pretty much took care of my whole morning.
My favorite way to use this technique is to commit to using the first, and best, part of my day to work on a that vitally-important-but-easy-to-put-off project. That project I might be tempted to say I don’t have time for.
What that could look like for you is beginning the day doing whatever puts you in a positive frame of mind. Prayer, meditation, running, or re-reading your inspiring vision.
And then, before checking your email, or launching into anything else time-consuming or energy-draining, working on what you’ve chosen as your priority project for the week or for the month – whether it’s creating the marketing for a new program, reaching out to establish key business relationships, working on your message development, or rewriting the web copy you’ve been meaning to update for years.
Working on that without interruption for whatever time frame you choose: whether it’s five minutes or 45 minutes.
And then, you take a break. You celebrate that you put your most important work first.
If you have a busy day, you can move into your calls and appointments knowing that you are not letting things slide. If you have a more open day, you have the option to do another focused work burst on that project or move on to another one.
Doing this consistently takes practice and lots of reminders. Doing this consistently keeps you focused, strong, and moving forward even when life is throwing you curve balls.