In my opinion, one of the best writing resources available is Copyblogger. Post after post of great writing advice that not only informs but entertains. I like their style, and this latest post is no exception.
Sometimes as a friend, parent or teacher, we resort to the age-old adage of “Do as I say, not as I do.” I know I have fallen prey to this. However in reading “5 Writing Links You’ll be Glad You Clicked,” I am here to say that I clicked on each link. I think you should too. All five links are certainly worth a click, but the title of the last link, “You Can be Busy or Remarkable – but not both” sucked me in. I’m not saying I am in complete agreement with the author’s statement, but I find value in the basic premise, especially the point of deep work being phasic.
In contemplating this notion, it reminded me of the physical fitness success found in interval training. Alternating your training program with bursts of high-intensity training can produce better results than maintaining a consistent pace throughout your exercise routine. Alternating bursts give our metabolism a jolt, and we burn more calories. I think the same philosophy could be effectively applied to other aspects of our lives resulting in more productivity.
The key, as aptly stated in the article, is to conform our schedules to accommodate for those needed bursts of work. Just like my interval training provides me with a schedule so I know when to begin and end the higher intensity run, I need to allow that same timing to achieve other goals. If I tried to run at the higher intensity for longer periods of time or more frequently, I would most likely burn out. I might resort back to a slow-paced routine or maybe just quit completely; either way, the outcome would be the same. I would not achieve my goals or at least not as quickly as I had hoped.
I think I will give this idea a test run, and I am adding some of the advice from the other links into my plan too. First, I am getting a big calendar and a big red marker, and I am going to follow the infinite wisdom of Jerry Seinfeld – don’t break the chain, don’t break the chain! Second, I am going to use “activation energy.” I have to agree with this philosophy; the less effort it takes to do something, the more likely we are to do it.
I see this “interval training” working in many different capacities: physical fitness, professional obligations, writing goals…life in general. Hey, it’s worth a try. I want to be remarkable – not busy!
In the meantime, pull up a chair and let’s talk.