The idea is to draw inspiration from workaholic Teddy Roosevelt, the 26th President of the United States. (Photo: Library of Congress for Unsplash)
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Q:- “My week is not enough to do everything I have to do. Is there a great trick to getting the most out of every hour of work? -Anthony
A. – Dear Antoine, Have you ever heard of Theodore Roosevelt, the workaholic who became the twenty-sixth president of the United States, after holding professions as diverse as museum curator, writer, historian, soldier, and naturalist? Or the United States? Or the United States? Let me tell you a few words about it, I am sure they will interest you.
If you attended Harvard University in the academic year of 1876-77, you probably noticed an arrogant and energetic freshman who had a wide range of interests, each of which seemed to be further from his studies than the others. That student was Theodore Roosevelt, a thin man with a face eaten by sideburns, who seemed to spend most of his time practicing boxing, wrestling, bodybuilding, dancing, poetry, or even nature (his life’s true passion). As a testament to his dedication to his hobby, he published a book, Summer Birds of the Adirondacks, the summer after his first year at Harvard; This allowed him to be seen from before Bulletin of the Nuttall Club of Ornithology as “one of the most brilliant young naturalists in the United States”.
Did all these feelings seriously harm his studies? never. It is true that he was not the best student in his class, but in his first year he obtained honors in five of the seven subjects.
How could he achieve such a feat? The explanation is simple, and Cal Newport explains it in his book Deep Work: Theodore Roosevelt created a way of working that was as innovative as it was effective.
According to the author and Georgetown University computer science professor, the Harvard student planned each day with work occupying the 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. period, including study hours and time needed to do homework. An hour of exercise (essential, among other things, to make the brain breathe!) and time for lunch. This place was for work alone. It was not expandable in any way, so he was free to pursue his hobbies as he pleased before 8:30 a.m. and after 4:30 p.m.
good. Antoine, you must have noticed that doing all the required work between 8:30 AM and 4:30 PM when studying at Harvard leaves, in fact, very little time to review your lessons and do the exercises required by the teachers. A ridiculously short period of time.
then? How did he do it? Well, Cal Newport points out, Teddy Roosevelt necessarily performed his duties “with great intensity.” Then he did not give 110%, but 150%. The best thing is that each of us is capable of this, provided that we are methodical, says the American professor.
Take on a task that requires you to perform to the best of your ability.
Accurately estimate the time you need to get it done, in normal times.
– Now set yourself a Delivery time “Much shorter” than you estimated. It is up to you to decide if the reduction is 10%, 20% or 30%, for example. The idea is to be convinced that “it’s doable, even if it’s hot.”
– Start after programming a timer on your cell phone.
– and stop everything when the bell rings.
Did you succeed? Did you fail by a small margin? And this is not the most important thing. In fact, Cal Newport recommends doing this high-intensity workout once a week, just to accustom your brain to maximum focus for a predetermined period of time. You will thus gain proficiency in an almost amazing way, in the sense that you will be amazed at what you are truly capable of doing.
Once you get a taste of it, you yourself will start working hard for short periods of time, and you will do this exercise not once a week, but once every other day, then once a day, etc. The bottom line, Antoine, is that you will finally be able to get through all your weekly tasks and, better yet, find free time to breathe and, for example, chat a lot with your colleagues.
One last point. Cal Newport highly recommends isolating yourself from any potential distractions when working at high intensity. Cell phone off, notifications deleted, no social media windows open. Otherwise you risk having your momentum cut short, and you will no longer be able to return your 150% within the allotted time.
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