There is a lot of talk today about the difference between Left Brained linear thinking and Right Brained creative thinking. I’ve just finished a great book on the subject, entitled A Whole New Mind by Daniel Pink.
While the differences are great, on a practical side one of the main distinctions is that left brain thinkers are linear and sequential. They are great at making lists and getting things done.
Right brained, creative types are more big picture oriented and tend to be random and intuitive thinkers. While this trait is great for creativity, it can hamper step by step progress on a project or task.
As a certified right brainer, I have struggled with To-Do lists and get distracted easily on tedious tasks. I have worked through organizational programs such as GTD by David Allen and have found them useful, but sometimes frustrating. My right brain and outside influences keep distracting me.
Success Techniques for Right Brained People
Luckily I ran across a technique a few years ago that has worked wonders in my life. It is called The Power of 48 minutes and it’s simple premise is effective every time I try it.
Here’s how it works… Set a timer for 48 minutes. Close out all distractions and work continuously for 48 minutes on one project. When the timer goes off, get up and stretch, get coffee, use the restroom etc, in the following 12 minutes. Repeat as necessary.
At home, this means closing my web browser, turning off e-mail, and working on one project at a time. It means having a full cup of coffee and putting myself in a quiet and comfortable work environment.
At work, it means closing my office door, shutting off e-mail and the e-mail reminder in Outlook, closing my browser, and focusing on one task at a time. My paper based daily route sheet works wonders here.
In both cases I use a countdown timer on my iPod touch and work straight through for 48 minutes.
When the time is up I take a 12 minute break and either finish up what I’m doing or set myself up for another 48 minute session.
This technique works wonders for larger projects such as book writing, blog posting, and web design. If you have never tried this before, do a little preparation and give it a go. You’ll be amazed how useful it can be. A simple egg timer works wonders here.
It looks like my 48 minutes is about up… until next time… keep focused with the Power of 48 minutes.
Question: Do you have any success techniques that you would like to share?