March 18, 2005

In the mood for work?

It’s that time of year again; revision season. For those who’ve started the joyous task of revision/essay writing, or those debating whether it’s worth the effort, I’ll post any information that may prove useful as and when I come across it.

First few tips come courtesy of Openloops in a post called Are You in The Mood? In order to start those unpleasant tasks, the following is suggested:

Set yourself a time limit
Set a limit of 5 – 10 minutes; the exact amount of time is not important. Then, work steadily on the task until the end of the set time and then stop. Many times, however, after the project starts moving, you’ll find you want to finish it.

Set up a reward for finishing the task
Promise yourself a simple reward such as a dinner out, a tall milkshake, a new Moleskine, anything that will propel you forward.
Do some “Lead Up” tasks
Instead of jumping right in, do some tasks that lead up to being able to complete main objective. Prepare the workspace. Gather materials. Find some soft music to listen to while working. This will sometimes get you “in motion” to the point where it’s easy to remain in motion (Remember Newton?).

In reality, limits will need to be longer than 5–10 minutes. Half an hour seems like a reasonable length of time to spend concentrating on a given topic. I imagine ‘rewards’ can be taken up at the end of a working day, or even in between half hour stints. Just make sure that these ‘mini rewards’ don’t drag on, taking up as much time as the work itself.

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