I’ve been reading productivity and creativity books and blogs for 10 years and have never seen anyone mention this…
Your brain has two sides. Simplified, there is the intuitive right side and the logical left side.
If you’re an entrepreneur or knowledge worker in the modern economy, you need both.
In fact, the elite are those who combine the two.
If you’re like me, your average day can include anything from writing a blog post or email funnel, to programming to editing memes in Photoshop.
As Cal Newport — author of Deep Work and So Good They Can’t Ignore You describes, there is a huge cost between switching tasks. That means subject matter AND type. It can take HOURS to switch from a creative task like writing to a logical task like coding.
What do you do about it? Work like a sprinter.
Sprinters, weightlifters and other Olympic athletes train two separate though intertwined systems. They are the Central Nervous System and the musculoskeletal system.
For an explosive athlete, training the CNS for maximal power output is as or more important as the muscles.
That’s why elite athletes will train explosively one day — with jumps, high intensity weight lifting and short sprints. Then the next day, they’ll train their muscles with light runs, technique work and low intensity weight lifting. This approach allows for alternated work and rest.
That means you — creative and/or knowledge worker — should structure similar brain tasks on the same day. Apply weightlifter, sprinter or body builder splits to your weekly schedule.
That could mean Monday, Wednesday and Friday for creative work like writing and design. Then Tuesday and Thursday you perform logical work such as coding, server setup and data analysis.
As Sam Hyde — internet comedy sensation and creator of the banned-from-TV show “World Peace” — notes, there is a huge difference in quality between working on something for two hours at a time versus six hours or even eight hours.
If you’re two hours in, you’re just getting warmed up.
Splitting your work week like a sprinter allows you to perform extensive deep work. While one side of your brain is recovering the next day, you are exercising the other side by training the opposite mental faculties.
That means more deep work at a higher quality, so get to it.
P.S. If you try this please do let me know how it works. Cheers.