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Couple of good articles on the power of focus, the nature of motivation, and the importance of regular breaks:

Stop Being So Damn Productive

With mental tasks, productivity doesn’t increase linearly with time worked. Every hour spent working hard is a tax on the next hour you want to spend working hard. And so on until you can spend hours, even days, working without achieving.

Remember the quote “You speak a lot, but you don’t say much”? Same goes for working a lot.

The Trick to Accomplishing More by Doing Less

Multitasking all day is not as productive as working in 90 minute stretches with 15-20 minute breaks (or even a nap) and a real lunch break.

How Rewards Can Make You Hate Something You Love

“Many people—including us—have argued that doing what you love and getting paid for it is the holy grail of life achievements, but in reality we tend to get discouraged when presented with the possibility that we’re only doing something for the money.”

I would ascribe a different interpretation to the observed phenomenon: that, when getting paid to do something, you have to do it.  You have to do it to a schedule, and you have to do it to somebody else’s satisfaction.  When the task is no longer enjoyable, you have to keep doing it to completion.  Whereas, when you do something purely for enjoyment, you only do it for as long as it is enjoyable to you.

Applications to motivation and procrastination.

-Johnny 0.


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