Mission: Buffer time

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| Concept

To feel relaxed, you need time to transition between your activities. You need time for that extra emergency of having to print some papers you forgot about for the next meeting, or (brace yourself) time to think and digest the activity that just happened.

Enter buffer time. This is exactly what you imagine it to be. It involves having at least 5-10 minutes between your different activities to put stuff back in place physically and in your mind, and to open the new file, either physically or metaphorically.

Some activities require more warm-up or cool-down time than others. We will refine that later. For the moment, we will work on creating some initial buffer time within your schedule.

| What to Expect

If you live in a rush and speed seems to be ruling your life right now, or if you feel unprepared or unable to really engage with what you are doing when you are doing it, buffer time will make you feel sane again.

Because of the cool-down time, you will have time to actually understand what you managed to do during that activity period, and remember it (many of the people that forget where they were in a process actually don't give themselves time to recap what they did at the end of that activity; they assume their brain should be a machine that knows, though they don't allow it the processing time it requires).

      The warm-up time will help you be more goal-oriented and intentional about the next activity, and have the time to get in the mood for it. It will allow you to step into the present, to recall to mind the context of that project. Think of it like tuning your instrument, before starting to play. It will affect the quality of the entire performance.

See blogpost Buffer time to sustain time management sanity.

| Challenge

You can practice buffer time in many contexts. Here are some suggestions for this mission:

  • Start your morning 5-10 minutes earlier, and allow yourself to really wake up and think of your day or get a feel for it before you engage on your activities at full speed.
  • Allow a buffer time of 5-10 minutes before starting work. Various people do it in various ways. Some just wake up earlier, to be in the office while it is still quiet. Some use their morning cuppa in the office to put the work hat on. Some use their commute. Whatever suits you, do it, as long as it fits the description of buffer time - that is calm, relaxing warm-up or cool-down time between your activities.
  • Stop doing each activity at least 5 minutes before the next one starts. Allow yourself to understand what you have achieved with the previous activity, and what your goals are in the next.
  • Leave for meetings earlier than usual.
  • Finish work 5-10 minutes earlier, recap your day in your head and think of what lays ahead. Allow yourself to relax and warm up for the next mood. Banish thoughts of undone work from your head, or add them to tomorrow's to-do list.

| Setting Challenge Steps

Select how many times you wish to practice the skills in this challenge in order to build a habit around them.

After completing this challenge you will gain skills and earn a badge for your profile.

I will practice this exercise times.
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