Am I AKA ... interval training?

Updated: Aug 4, 2019

It's Sunday and I'm conscious I haven't blogged for a couple of days - my apologies.

I've had a project I just wanted to get done and I wanted to block out all distractions. This project has been lingering for far too long. It's time for the pain to end. I thought I would give it a run using a new work approach to bring some vigor and new energy to an old problem. I am really impressed with the new approach; not so impressed with the stubbornness of this project!

I sit here now, enjoying some fresh air and a glass of wine, and what are my thoughts? Bugger it! It's still not done!

On Thursday I went offline. I put on my out-of-office email notification, turned off all my work app alerts and settled in to get focused. By the end of Thursday, I'd scoped the project and thought that by doing this I'd cracked the hard part. On Friday I realised I hadn't cracked anything, when I had a massive epiphany that changed the direction of the project. Although it was a tad annoying, I was exceptionally pleased with the new direction. I ended the day thinking I'd cracked the hidden and hardest part of the task. On Saturday, realisation hit of yet another major devil-in-the-detail as I got started with actual project content. I ended the day exhausted, but with a plan for how to crack this new problem. This morning I hit the problem hard and I think I've come up with a solution. I say that hesitantly, given this seem to be the catalyst for another groundhog day.

I would really love to live in a world where time doesn't matter and I could carry on regardless until project completion. That's not my reality. Tomorrow is Monday and I have a fully booked day, so I cannot stretch my project focus any further. It is time to stop and switch.

I am conscious that when I get into a project, such as this one, I have problems with detaching. I become absorbed and singular in my focus. Other things just don't get done like shopping and house cleaning (which I hate with a passion that's just not right!). So, I've decided to do what I never do. I've decided to stop. I've decided to wind down for the day and get prepared for tomorrow. I want to be focused and present for what tomorrow brings.

I thought this project was a sprint. It was not, and I'm not sure I can even call it a project in it's own right. Its more like a task that is enmeshed in many other unfinished 'too-hard-basket' tasks. Now that I can see the relationship between all the individual tasks, I feel more prepared to tackle the whole problem as a very big, complicated project.

Tracey Defferrard - my very wonderful personal trainer

As I sit here contemplating the last couple of days, and the way forward for this week, I realise I've set myself short intensive bursts (sprints) in my usual work routine. Is this a bit like interval training in a workout? I think my personal trainer would be proud of me!

I wonder if this will have as much impact on my work productivity as interval training has had on my health? Stay tuned - I'm interested to find out myself!

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