Продуктивность 101

Steve Pavlina, “Productivity 101”, public translation into Russian from English More about this translation.

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Once you get past the first 15 minutes, you’ll often want to stick with the task. Timeboxing is a good way of coaxing yourself through the initial task resistance. You tell yourself, “It’s only 30 minutes. How bad could it be? I can handle anything for 30 minutes.” But then when you get through that first 30 minutes, it’s easy to keep going.

This past weekend my kids and I decided to clean out a closet under our staircase. The closet was overloaded with waist-high piles of stuff. There was a Star Wars marathon on that day (all 6 episodes), so I figured we’d work on the closet until the end of one of the episodes — a fixed period of time of about an hour. Then we could stop and work on it some more at another time. No one wanted to clean out that closet, but at least we could make a reasonable dent in the task.

What actually happened is that we got so into the task that we finished the whole closet and completely reorganized it, including installing some shelves. That took us 3-4 hours. Then we did another closet. And then some drawers. And then another room… and another. Then we proceeded to clean out and reorganize the garage. By the end of the day, we’d put in a solid 12 hours of home decluterring and re-organizing. Erin was at a conference that day, and when she returned home around 8pm, she said she thought she had the wrong house — she didn’t recognize the garage when she pulled the car in.

This momentum even carried into the next day, with Erin and the kids doing more home organizing for several hours.

This was a major project, and if we thought about putting in 18-20 solid hours into it, it would have seemed too overwhelming, but timeboxing was a great way to get started because we could say to ourselves, “It’s only an hour. Then we can stop.”

You won’t always want to go longer than the initial time period you decide upon. That’s perfectly fine. You must give yourself full permission to stop. You can always kick off another timeboxed period later and make another dent in the task. If you keep working on it little by little, eventually you’ll finish.

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