The prep needed for this kind of day is extensive. Worlds have to align for us to get this done. My husband and I made it a point to pile up our to do lists until they’re at the utmost peak and then force ourselves to have a work intensive day so that we can clear most of it out. I don’t advise that, but I do however, advise that you find a way to utilize this purposeful day to get whatever you’ve been putting off, off of your list! Schedule the day or few days, weeks in advance so that you can look forward to and prepare for the intensive. Let’s break it down…
What’s the point of having something like this?
A work intensive is not something that should be done for a long period of time. The point is to set aside time to get those tasks that take real focus and a real investment of time, to a completed status instead of a will do one day status.
These are tasks that normal work days just don’t permit time for. Work intensives are a distraction free zone of genius that you live in for a certain amount of time. A good span of focus should last you a minimum of 2 hours and at longest, 5.
The time in between that should still involve drinking water, using the bathroom, taking a short walk etc. This is the time to be in a work mode that you aren’t coming out of for a while, but it’s also a time to still be a human. Eat, walk, watch a 30 min show etc. but do not stop!
The intention is to get all the necessary prep work done beforehand so that you aren’t distracted looking for images or even thinking of themes to write about, but instead, you are actually putting the new images inside the website for the update and you’re actually writing the blog or newsletter that you’ve been wanting to write.
The intention is to do and not so much to think. The need for these types of days comes when you are a driven person with a long list of lots of to-do’s but can’t seem to find a long stretch of hours to do the actual thing that needs focus and attention in one sitting. The work intensive becomes the time to do it in one sitting.
So, how do you set this thing up?
For the most part, this can be done anywhere however, you want to make sure it’s done in a space that can be distraction free. Your bedroom or even your home office can still have natural distractions and so for me, I choose to do these intensives, outside of the house. Outside of the normal work day. I prefer to do these on a Friday/Saturday, at a cowork space or private office.
A separate environment means a set a part mindset. I feel good walking out of the house and into a new space. It feels 10x more productive because I’m outside of the normal daily routine.
I bring a liter of water, my desktop, my notebook, a sweater, cozy socks and a good attitude. I’ll even bring a candle next time around! For your setup, choose things that make you comfortable but not sleepy. That’s why I choose to leave the house although I actually do work from home.
What’s the Non-Negotiable
For my husband and I, the non-negotiable is to make sure that our children are with someone they know and love. We are literally unreachable except for emergencies. But, we also have peace of mind knowing that they are with someone we trust and love also. Less to worry about leaves more time for deep work and a positive experience.
The only other non-negotiable for me is that I do need a goooodd coffee… I mean I spring for the Venti size at Starbucks which I don’t do on a normal basis.
When it comes to being a mom and owning these work intensives, I try to think of it as going on a work trip even though it’s in town mostly and it’s not reeeaaalllyyy a vacation. But, the mindset needs to be the same. I’m coming to this intensive to work and that’s it.
Our first mini work intensive was a success I believe. We have some things we would change and do differently but overall, the work that I’d been putting off got done and I’m happy with the results. Next time though, it’ll start with the night before prep. I’ve got to go to bed earlier so that I can wake up earlier and leave right away. This time, we didn’t get into the office until after 12 and that was too late in my eyes. I want to be there from 8-8 next time and have a nice dinner date with my husband afterward as a reward!
I believe these are becoming more and more necessary as families and brands are expanding and becoming more relational but are also therefore, becoming busier. A work intensive feels so good once it’s over because big companies have hundreds of employees in every department and since we don’t have that, we have to adjust. Have a work intensive so that you can create and complete the list of things hanging in the balance of your business.