20 day challenge: day fivePosted: February 28, 2008
Good grief. I am so shit at focussing. An upward struggle today, with brain flitting off constantly to every possible tangent available. And there were many available, as I was doing “research”, which means “surfing the net.” Keeping to those articles I need to read, and ignoring all the ones I want to read, is fucking impossible.
As a result, I’ve been in the office for 11 1/2 hours, and I’ve just completed my 4.5. That’s about 1/3 of my office time spent working. This is what the 7pm rule was supposed to prevent, but I’m still going to call it a qualified PASS.
I’ve realised something: that my meandering is worst when I don’t really know why I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing: when it’s something that’s part of the process, like “go through all the interviews and note the bits relevant to the article,” but with no real, proper sense of what comes next. GTD has a lesson here: always know your next step. So I’ve replaced my to-do list of up to ten items, which tended to get clogged with little jobs like phoning people back, with a three-item “today’s tasks”. One that I’m doing now, one that comes next, and one alternative to switch to if I get really bored. That should help focus me on where what I’m doing fits into the bigger picture, which I know helps me focus.
Less hifalutinly, I’ve also hacked my firefox shortcut to take me to a Word document. I have to scroll down four screens and click a link asserting that, yes, this is an earned 30 minute break, and, yes, I can spend some quality time with the internet, to actually launch the browser. So that should help.