Sometimes it can be really hard to start working. You lack the energy, motivation or clarity to get going.

Interestingly, there is a group of people that figured this out a long time ago: monks. This differs a bit depending on the type of monk you’re talking to, but they have one thing in common: their days are really structured. Every part of the day not only has a clear beginning, it also has a very clear ending.

A couple of reasons to experiment with a clear ending:

  • It is a self-imposed deadline. A set time gives you a reason to start cranking, because you’ll want to finish something before the time is over.
  • It can help you to get un-stuck. If you’re working on something really difficult, knowing that there is a finishline when you’ll stop working no matter what can be a relief. Stopping and restarting a task can give you a new, fresh perspective on fixing a specific problem.
  • It can help you to spread your energy during the day. You probably know the feeling that you’re in the flow. You’re super invested in a task and you have the feeling that you can continue for hours. This is awesome, but you might recognise that starting the next task after you finished can be quite tough. Taking forced breaks at a set interval could potentially harm your flow, but it could also help you to keep focus and energy over a longer period of time.