Good morning and happy Monday to you! I’m happy to announce that Wellington and Madison are going to be making their full debuts tomorrow on Jess LC. To celebrate I am offering free shipping on all domestic orders from September 15th-22nd.
This weekend was a good one. Erwin and I finally tackled the last of the unopened boxes from the move and I had a great long run. Yesterday I also went to brunch with my friend Amy, who recently started law school. We were talking about life and intentions as we often do, and I found myself mentioning a book that I’m reading called The Pursuit of Perfect by Tal Ben-Shahar quite a bit. So much so, that I think I will share some of my favorite takeaways over the next few weeks.
Give Me a Break
The first idea I want to talk about is one that I plan to start trying myself throughout the day. Tal mentions that today’s western culture encourages a marathon or endurance-like mentality when it comes to work. Because of this, people are pushing themselves to work much longer hours than in the past. And he himself was stuck in this work-trap early in his career, often working twelve hour days.
The problem with this mentality Tal states is that we are not machines, but rather human beings with finite attention spans that need rest and recovery. There are three levels of rest he suggests might lead to a happier and more productive workday. On the macro-level he suggests that people take vacations from work once every six months. He also suggests people take at least one day off of work each week. I myself agree with these ideas and naturally follow them. But the micro-level suggestions got me thinking.
On the micro-level, research shows humans are able to concentrate and maintain a high level of focus for at most one to two hours at a time. After that period, the quality of work suffers. With that in mind, Tal has structured his work into ninety minute chunks with 15 minute breaks in between. This allows him to fully engage with his work knowing that he will have the opportunity to recharge and do something completely unrelated within an hour and a half. By adopting this rhythm, he now accomplishes what used to take him 12 hours in just eight or nine hours.
I myself notice I tend to lose concentration after an hour and a half and will naturally start wandering into Twitter, Facebook, or my blogroll. Then I feel guilty, thinking that I should be able to stay on track until the work is complete- regardless of how long it might take. So starting today, I am going to start breaking my workday up with these free periods and see how it goes.
What can I say? It is the perfect chance to read through my blogroll. Anyone else thinking about adopting a similar strategy?