It seems that the hot new buzz is to work very long hours and say “no” to anything that isn’t considered work. While I do respect a strong work ethic and think it’s important to be highly disciplined, I’ve discovered a much more effective exercise that allows you to actually check things off your to-do list without sacrificing your enjoyments in life or entire day.
My old mentor one day introduced me to an exercise that she called “50-10s” which basically consisted of working on one specific task for 50 minutes, taking a 10 minute break to reset your mind, then getting back to work for another 50 minutes to take on the next task.
And while this tweak in how you go about getting work done may have seemed like it couldn’t possibly have been effective because of how simple it was, I was completely shocked at how much more focused and intentional I was when I tried it.
You see, we are all busy people who seem to constantly have new things added to our to-do lists, but the issue that I noticed in my own day-to-day was that I made myself too busy instead of actually being productive.
When we are intentional about the very thing we want to accomplish and dedicate a full 50 minutes to only working on that one thing without any distractions, we likely will end up getting that very thing done. Especially when we get rid of all distractions by putting our phone on airplane mode and closing out of all tabs, for that allows us to give the task at hand our full undivided attention.
And since you are tackling one thing at a time instead of tying to do numerous things at once, it eliminates the “analysis paralysis” (what I call feeling overwhelmed from seeing too much on your scary to-do list) problem that many busy people suffer from.
Plus, the 10 minute break in-between the work sessions allow you to clear your mind and re-focus because you either walk around, chat with a friend, grab a snack, or do something that refreshes your mind.
So there you go, that’s the simple exercise that not only I have applied to my own life and have seen incredible results from, but also have taught to my own high level clients, all of whom are very busy people themselves with very big to-do lists.
Try this exercise, track whether or not you see any improvements in your productivity, then let me know what your results look like. I have a strong feeling that you’ll be very happy with what you discover.
My name is Ken Conklin, and I hope that you got value from reading this.