These 20 Minutes Matter Most

We all lust after those long interrupted stretches of creative time in our day to get into a flow state and really make a dent in a project. But rare long stretches of flow aren't responsible for our success or failure alone.

They feel good, and they're important for certain kinds of work, but they're also unreliable and too infrequent to count on. How many times have you tried to force flow, only to be disappointed and come away with nothing?

What really matters is how much you can get done during the cracks and crevices in your schedule. The 20 minutes before a meeting, or the hour before lunch, or the 45 minutes before your dinner appointment.

The real productive powerhouses among us don't waste those times with email or checking the news. They get something meaningful done by time-boxing and cutting out all the friction.

Those cracks and crevices of time matter, and they add up when you learn to fill them reliably.

Next time you catch yourself about to check your favorite news site because you have a little time between things, ask yourself what important thing can I get done in the next 20 minutes?

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Hi, I’m Corbett Barr. I’ve been writing here since 2009. Join my email list for new articles about supporting yourself doing something you love: