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Changing the Paradigm to Flat Out Sprinting

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  • Changing the Paradigm to Flat Out Sprinting

    As a newcomer to GTD, I went through a period of being overwhelmed by the long lists of next action items. I resorted to what I perceive to be the THE performance paradigm -- the marathon. Just keep on going -- breathe deeply -- endure, continue, press on. The marathon paradigm made me feel worse.

    Now, I am a couple of days into one of the books recommended here -- The Power of Full Engagement. The basic premise is transforming -- it puts forth a simple paradigm that contradicts the marathon paradigm I've bought into. It's basic premise is that life is a series of sprints with recovery time in between. This simple premise alone has already turned my week on its head.

    I love the thought of throwing everything I have into an effort, going until I am tired, then stopping to recover. It is so much more energizing than simply continuing to keep your feet plodding in the direction of your goal despite gradually becoming less and less alert and involved.

    My rave for the morning,
    Arc

  • #2
    Top marathoners take breaks, too. Not during the race, but definitely during training.

    As you've discovered, unrelieved plodding is unsustainable.

    Katherine

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    • #3
      That sounds like a book worth reading. Does it say anything about how long these sprints should be? A minimum, a maximum? Or just until you feel tired? Right now, I'm working in 1:45 hour focus sessions followed by breaks. (Sometimes I go a bit longer, sometimes I can't wait until its over.) Is that on par? Or do people have more stamina and focusing capabilities than I do?

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      • #4
        Two hours would be a long time for me. I take breaks every hour or so, especially when the work demands focus.

        Katherine

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        • #5
          Power of full engagement

          This book is terrific. It's about management of energy on many levels and is about a whole lot more than when to take a break. Its a very readable book with concrete examples and a how to implement it in your own life. I highly reccomend it.

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          • #6
            My focus sessions vary between 1 - 3 hours. It depends mostly on the type of work. More demanding writing not so long. Easier tasks like eg sorting research data goes longer.

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            • #7
              Agreed with advice here. I've also found a powerful habit recently: pausing every half hour or so to look at what I'm doing and readjust. I won't necessarily stop what I'm doing, but I often tweak my method.

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              • #8
                Mine shortens as the day lengthens. initially, I am good for an hour and a half, maybe a little longer -- by the time I go home, an hour is more reasonable.

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                • #9
                  Very logical thoughts. Obviously I'm too rigid in trying to create this new focusing habit. The worry about the length of time alone will drive me crazy and I'm not in any position go crazy right now . GTD is all about customization (within the proper framework, of course); choosing such an exact amount of time every time really is contrary to that.

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                  • #10
                    The Book, Power of Full Engagement.

                    I read this book. There was some pretty good stuff, but my read on the content is that its for the Type A personality. It wasnt so helpful to me because I dont have energy issues, I have not-wanting-to-face-my-NA-list issues. Any good books for that?

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                    • #11
                      Alan Lakien's book, "How TO GET CONTROL OF YOUR LIFE," has a couple of great chapters on procrastination and the related "fear."

                      The gist of all that in GTD language is to start your day with the one NA you dread doing the most. And your life will change!

                      I think I'll start doing this myownself.

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                      • #12
                        I would like to know how you do. That is a hard way to start your day.

                        I've been looking for 'magnets' -- NAs that draw me. Maybe I need to mix in a few fearful NAs. But I fear that might slow down my whole day

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by MikeC View Post
                          The gist of all that in GTD language is to start your day with the one NA you dread doing the most. And your life will change!
                          Tried it. Didn't work for me.

                          If I don't want to do something, looking at it first thing in the morning doesn't magically make me want to do it. I want to do it less at that time.

                          This may be partly due to physical issues. I'm a night owl. Mornings are a bad time for me to tackle tough stuff, as I'm still waking up.

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                          • #14
                            Hmmmm....I'm not sure we are meaning the same thing. Doesn't matter if you aren't attracted or if you don't want to do that yucky NA first. That's the point! Just do it.

                            One old saying: "eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse can happen to you the rest of the day" (or Dentist!)

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                            • #15
                              I'm trying to say that I'm less likely to do hard or unpleasant things first thing in the morning.

                              If I could "just do it," without regard to time, why would I schedule it for a particular time?

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