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When to step away

Being productive isn't all about focusing on your work. Sometimes you have to step away. If you're struggling to solve a problem, or a task is causing frustration and confusion, it's probably time to put it down and try one of the following:

A mindless task

Make a cup of tea, go for walk, or sort your sock draw. Doing something that gives your brain a short break without needing your full attention could be enough to lead to a new idea or understanding.

Return the next day

The brain organises and strengthens the connection it makes while you sleep. If you're working on something complex you may find that when you come back to it the next day the information has settled in.

Have a conversation

Talking it through with someone (even when things are a work in progress) can give you a better understanding and useful feedback.

Change the format

Writing a CV? How about turning it into a presentation? Reading about a new subject? How about drawing diagrams or images as a way to explain it to yourself? Finding a way to change the format can lead to it being seen in a fresh light.⠀

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Adam Ellison

Adam Ellison

The founder and course mentor at The Monday Morning Club

This article was updated on May 27, 2022