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Tag Archives: 2 hours

Lately I have set an absolute requirement for myself to get a minimum of 2 hours of project work done per day – and no cheating.  Sounds easy, right?  Trying to achieve this has been a real learning experience.

  • Every day since starting this challenge, I have completed my first 20 minutes of project work at 3:20pm.  Yes, I am doing all 2 hours of project work in the last 2 hours of the work day.  Despite trying to get started by mid-morning.
  • The only way I can focus for 20 minutes in a row is to close my email apps.  Even the one for my business email.

My work habits have definitely gotten worse in the past 6 months.  I need to put the training wheels back on and re-learn (again) how to make my days productive.

At least I’m getting in those 2 hours per day, and that’s a start.



Here’s a time-management / project-management tip I learned a long time ago: when developing something, always plan for two complete revisions of the original, before everything works. That’s three iterations of the design-and-test loop. At least.

It seems that this will be true of my project to beat procrastination, too.

I have my new system, and most days I am succeeding at working for 2hrs on paying work and 2hrs on the important personal project. I’m practicing some good habits. But I haven’t eliminated the bad habits. Another useful maxim is demonstrated here: what gets measured gets done. The converse is also true.

In particular, I’m still checking my email forty times a day. Read More »

The work habits haven’t been very good for the past couple of days. Partly it has been procrastination, but there was something else, too. Even though a good portion of my day was spent working, I still got to five o’clock, stood up and said “where did the time go?”

And I think I know why. My new anti-procrastination system is missing a vital element: something to keep me from succumbing to fatigue or slipping into self-hypnosis.

When I sit for hours at a desk, I’m aware of my butt going numb. But it’s not until I eventually stand up and say “wow, what useless crap have I been doing for the past hour?” that I realize that my brain has gone numb too.

That old bit of advice about taking a break every 30 minutes is gold. Stand up, move around, swing the arms, drink some water, go outside for some bright light and fresh air and a dose of rich aural and visual landscape. It keeps the blood flowing and the brain sharp, not to mention the purely physical benefits. I’ve got to get back to doing that, setting a timer and everything.

I use Cool Timer for my 30-minute “break” timer and my 2-hour “work” timer. It’s simple, free, and it works.

I started a new system this week, to keep myself motivated and productive long enough to develop some good work habits.  And I started a page on here to track my progress and evaluate the system as I go along.

Take a look and see if I achieved my daily goals today!  Daily Log

Today I’m finding it helpful that I have a list of things that I’m looking forward to doing after I finish my work. I’m motivated to get my work done early.

Maybe this one’s dead obvious to everyone else, but we already know I’m a recovering goofaholic.

It also helps that I have a specific goal today, “finish one project write-up,” and I know it’s something that I should be able to finish today with time to spare.  Staying focussed is a lot harder with goals like “work on project ABC today,” which doesn’t motivate you to do anything other than sit at your desk.

I’m visualizing myself getting a few hours of solid work done every morning, and then doing fun things and tackling some of those little jobs that we never seem to have time for, in the afternoon – and being extremely happy about it all.  Three hours of solid work per day would be an improvement over recent performance, and I can gradually increase from there.


Today I had a clean 8-hour stretch of calendar in which to do work.  No meetings, family obligations or other scheduled distractions.  Just me and a quiet office.

It’s now 4:45pm, and according to the 2-hour timer I have done 25 minutes of work today.

If there was an “email, websurfing and planning personal life” timer, it would probably show about 7 hours of solid “progress.”

I’m disgusted with myself.  This has to stop.