Tip: Don’t Finish Today What You Can Leave For Tomorrow

Yes - it feels weird, even wrong, to quit just before the “natural rest point”; but it’s actually good for you, and for your work, to leave some loose ends.

NaturalRestingPlaceYou’re at the studio, working on your whateveritis. It’s getting late and you’re getting tired, but the work is almost done and you’d like to clear it already, so you can start fresh on Monday. You’re going to stay an extra hour and finish up.

Go home now

I have a better idea: go home NOW. Yes – it feels weird, even wrong, to quit just before the “natural rest point”; but it’s actually good for you, and for your work, to leave some loose ends. It helps to preserve some of the energy and flow of the work, so that when you come back to the studio, you get to slide right back into it. I also find it helpful in dealing with procrastination.

Ths neat little trick works especially well for working in passes. Suppose, for example, I’m blocking in my ideas for a new post, and I don’t have time to complete it in one go. I could try and finish that pass before I call it a day, but instead I’ll probably prefer to intentionally leave the blocking stage unfinished, with some mistakes or vague areas left unresolved. Then when I get back to it, I would quickly fix these obvious things, and by the time I proceed to the fleshing out stage I’ll already be completely connected and in the groove.

A word of caution…

This is a cool trick to try if you’re going to return to the work soon (within a few days at the most). If, however, you know you’re going to be away from your work for such a long time that you might forget what you were planning to do, then in this case I would definitely recommend to do the responsible thing and neatly tie everything down before turning off the light.


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