Wednesday, December 5, 2012

There are not 24 hours in a day

As you probably didn't* see in my last post, I'm closing in on finals week.  I'm a natural procrastinator, so this is a difficult time, especially when my hardest class is deathly boring.

It always seems that the biggest lesson I learn at these times has nothing to do with the classes I'm taking.  Last semester, I finally found my breaking point.  Over the summer, I figured out why I hit that point and how to avoid it.

This has been a rough semester.  I've had a lot more work than I bargained for, I spent far too much time in the hospital for an avoidable injury, and we had to put my childhood pet to sleep after almost 13 years of wonderful life.  Combine this with a few terrible nights of sleep, and you get the lesson I'm slowly learning as this semester draws to a close: There are not 24 hours in a day.

Perhaps a better way to say this is "You don't get an average amount of work done every day."  Productivity is annoying.  It's insanely variable.  One day could be incredibly productive, others, not so much.  I could accomplish more on Wednesday afternoon than over the course of an entire weekend.  I've spent too much time trying to figure out what happens on Wednesday instead of working to create the lifestyle that results in more Wednesdays.

I've found that productivity blogs etc. tend to focus on what you could be doing RIGHT NOW to improve how you're working.  Unfortunately, the long term matters even more than any quick fix.  Habit number 7 in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective people is "Sharpen the Saw."  We can dramatically increase the number of productive hours through routine activities that keep us sharp.

Come back Friday for some sharpening activities that have really paid off for me.  In the meantime, what do you do that helps create fertile ground for productivity?

*That was my worst post hit-wise in a long time.  Sorry, folks.

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