The modern workday is rarely structured in a way that you can completely concentrate on a task. It's easy to get distracted or lose track of what you're doing. One method to fix this suggested by the Harvard Business Review is to schedule in four-hour long "work flows" every week.
The idea itself comes from Saku Tuominen, creative director of the Idealist Group in Finland. The idea is that you schedule your week ahead of time, and you can fit in four hours of consecutive work. Here's his process:
- Think about one question/idea that needs insight and keep this thought in your subconscious mind.
- Clear your conscious mind by using this two-step system: move your thought(s) from your mind to a list and then clear your list when you have a short break (if your meeting is cancelled, for instance, or your flight is delayed).
- Plan your week and month by listing three priorities you would like to accomplish.
- Make certain you have at least four consecutive, uninterrupted hours a day dedicated to the three priorities you identified.
While a lot of people don't have the luxury of four uninterrupted hours a day to work, it's still an interesting idea that suggests that if you can find that block of time, you might be able to pack in all your work into just four hours. Even if you can't do this every week, it might be worth considering when you're in the height of a big project.
Three Ways to Think Deeply at Work [Harvard Business Review]