InDeep Work, there is an interesting formula for productivity.Here it is:
Work Accomplished = Time Spent x Intensity
You can see here that your productivity depends on two factors:time spentandintensity.The more time you spend on a task and the more intense you are, the more you will get done.
Let’s now dissect this formula.
First of all, it’s clear that you need bothquantityandqualityof time to get things done.Time spentrepresents quantity whileintensityrepresents quality.You need both of them to be productive.To put the formula another way:
Productivity = Quantity (of time) x Quality (of time)
Now, which one of these two factors comes first?
Well, I believe thatquantitycomes first.Why?Because if you spend some time on a project, even if the quality is poor, you can still get a little progress.But if you spend zero time, you will get no progress whatsoever.You need to put in the time first (quantity).Only then can we talk about quality.
I learned this from my personal experience.Whenever I saw little progress on a project, often the main cause is that I spent too little time on it.I might spend two hours on it one day but then skipped it for days or even weeks.No wonder the progress was so slow.
So how do you have the quantity?By blocking your time.Block enough timeon your schedule to work on the task.
Having thequantity,you then need to increase thequality.There are some strategies on how to do that.
First,make sure that you use the allocated time as intended.It’s useless to allocate two hours on a task but use much of the time for something else (e.g.checking emails).
My suggestion here is touse a timer.Set a rule for yourself that while the timer runs, youmustwork on the task.If you want to do something else, youmuststop the timer.This way you will know for sure how much time was actually spent on the task.Having to stop the timer before switching to something else also helps you become more focused on the task.
Next,remove distractionsso that you can work on the task for alongstretch for time.This is how you build momentum so that you can enterthe state of flow.
Lastly,match your energy levelwith the task at hand.Do the most difficult tasks when your energy level is highest, at the time of day when you are most alert.Referring to the formula above, this will help you increase yourintensitywhich leads to getting morework accomplished.
By having bothquantityandqualityof time, you will increase your productivity.
Any thoughts?Feel free to share them in the comments!