Mondays come around once a week, at least here in New Jersey. The day is usually preceeded by a slight twitch of dread around Sunday afternoon at 4pm. By the time that you wake up on Monday morning, you know if you're overwhelmed or are ready to kick butt during the day.
My wife asked me earlier today how I was doing during our mid-morning check in. One deep sigh later and she knew all that she needed to know- I was overwhelmed.
By the end of the day, the feeling was gone. I had cranked through about two hours of work before heading home and all felt right with the world. In the words of energy expert Tony Schwartz, I had practiced "absorbed focus".
In his post, "The Magic of Doing One Thing at a Time", Schwartz says this,
"I get two to three times as much writing accomplished when I focus without interruption for a designated period of time and then take a real break, away from my desk. The best way for an organization to fuel higher productivity and more innovative thinking is to strongly encourage finite periods of absorbed focus, as well as shorter periods of real renewal."
This is the crux: balance bursts of work with periods of meaningful renewal. Most of us are not marathon workers but almost all of us can sprint from time to time.
How about you? How can you absorb periods of focus during your work day like I did earlier today?