The Tortoise, the Hare, and Me
Sometimes slow and steady wins the race.
Especially if the race is the plodding sort. Methodical. Repetitious. One foot in front of the other. Slow and steady works for bricklaying and street paving. The tortoise method works well for building spreadsheets and crunching numbers. Stay at it. One detail at a time.
Endurance wins the day.
But, there are times when the tortoise loses.
Slow and steady is not the best way to finish every task. Some tasks take small bursts of intense focus, followed by a break. This is true for writing, content creation, and other kinds of creative work.
I’m working on editing the very, very crappy rough draft of a book. I block off two hours on my calendar to do this. At the top of the hour, I set a timer for 50 minutes. The phone is on airplane mode. Notifications on my computer are off. Email and instant messaging are off. No interruptions allowed.
It’s just this printed draft, pens, sticky notes, and me.
This is a focussed sprint. It’s a 100-meter dash to the finish line. I’m all in on this one thing. No slow. No steady. I’m running full-on at a focus level that’s not sustainable for long periods.
The timer goes off 50 minutes later. Time for a 10-minute break. Coffee, Twitter, or both. It’s fine. I’m recouping for 10 minutes.
I reset the timer and run again.
Some days are tortoise days.
Some days are hare days.