“Come on Eric, it’s not going to take you that long.”
As I sat down at my usual coffee shop, I immediately got to work on some work for my client.
It was quarter past 4 as I sat down with my warm chai tea, a protein bar, and my water bottle. I focused on the task ahead and started to type. It wasn’t long after that did I enter a flow state and I started to type on my own, words coming out at a rapid pace without much thinking at all.
I was meant to rewrite what was on the article, but instead I found myself writing much like how I write these posts. Very little guidance from outside sources.
After writing five articles for my client, I looked at the time on my computer. It was almost 6.
I just finished writing about 2500 words in the span of an hour and a half.
My writing speed has gotten faster and faster the more that I practice. I’ve been better able to get into a flow state for myself whenever I write as well. But there is a lot more going on that has allowed me to write articles at this sort of speed.
What it is that I have learned has allowed me to put into perspective just how much work I actually have and how much work I tack onto my to do list.
Because as you know, a lot of people can feel overwhelmed with an overstuffed to-do list. If you have a large list of tasks, our brain can think it’ll take us several hours to complete. But the more that I’ve cleared through my list in a matter of hours (or at least half of it) the more I am conditioning myself that I can finish tasks properly, but also quickly.
Here are some tactics that I use to finish the tasks quickly.
I Talk To Myself
I have that first quote up there for a reason: I talk to myself.
We do this a surprising amount of times over the day so if you think I’m crazy, well you’re probably just as much. The only difference is that I’m taking my time to leverage this resource.
Instead of thinking of random thoughts or beating myself down, I give myself a pep talk. I remind myself of exactly how long these tasks take.
Even when I have 8 items on my to-do list, I remind myself to put those tasks into perspective:
- I can do things while I wait for other things. For example, I can go through my Twitter feed or read and respond to people on Medium while I wait for my breakfast.
- I know that not every task is going to take me several hours. In fact, there’s only a few that actually do. Those tasks being things like my client work.
But what is also key to this is that I celebrate as well. There’s been a few times where I’ve made a post on twitter talking about progress. That tweet was in recognition that I’m half done my work for the day.
I Enter My Flow State Quickly
They say it takes about 20 minutes for people to get into their flow state and jump from task to task quickly.
While I don’t really care much about how long it actually takes, I do know that I can get into it very quickly. It’s tasks like these — writing — that allow me to focus on word after word. This level of concentration allows me to get into a proper work flow where, as I described above, I mainly rely on myself as opposed to outside sources to do the jobs that I need to do.
This level of concentration is only going to help me further as I don’t need to wait for people nor do I allow other thoughts to get in my way.
I am focused entirely on the work that I am doing and either giving myself a pep talk or I’m guiding myself along the way to finish the task.
As for getting into that work flow state it’s hard to say. All I can say from my experiences thus far with it, I’ve been able to write extensively thanks to tactic. My suggestion would be to focus on doing something that you enjoy and guide yourself.
By doing those two things, I am allowing myself to get into a work flow state which will only help me to concentrate. Furthermore, because I am conditioning my brain to focus on the sheer simplicity of these tasks, I’m adding pressure to the tasks that I perform, finishing them faster and faster as time goes on.
The time differences may not matter all that much. And maybe 2500 words in an hour in a half will be my best time ever.
It’s hard to say.
But by practicing this right now in my life, I can pass this on to other areas of my life. From my video creation to knocking out tasks that are on my list in general.
Either way, this is a solid strategy that I will be using moving forward.
To your growth!
Eric S Burdon
Paired up with that high focus work session, I also got a haircut. Nothing fancy, but the chance is necessary considering I’m getting back to video making and want short hair.
Yesterday all around was a day of high focus and energy as I’ve been hustling to finish many tasks and make a lot of moves as well. Some of these moves are small such as reaching out to publications and I have been getting some results with those as well. Look forward to some more posts on publications!