You know how every once in a while, it’s like time slows down? You’re at peak performance and problems just fall away like autumn leaves. Nothing can stop you, because nothing is insurmountable. Flow.
And other times, you cannot get a single thing done?
There is an answer.
There is a way out of the slow days.
You want to know the secret?
You just don’t stop.
Flow is hard to get into and easy to drop out of, so the best way to get the most out of your days is to just keep going once you’re there. Do not accept new responsibilities, do not tolerate interruptions, do not step away from the task.
I find that a good stereo headset can block out most intrusions from partners needing a hand with something. The dishes really do not need unpacking that urgently; they’ll still be there later. The cats that have escaped their bath and are now spreading moisture through the house are irrelevant. If there is a fire… that’s what the fire department is for; surely?
A bit of planning may be warranted though.
The average human can force themselves to stay awake between 48 and 72 hours.
This means you need to keep about 4-5 litres of drinks near wherever you are working for the duration. And although mental focus can stave off hunger, sooner or later this leads to headaches that are real productivity killers. So best to keep a variety of food and snacks nearby. Put some sandwiches in cling-wrap, put some potato chips out, keep some chocolate on hand.
The other side of that equation is a bit trickier.
With a good fasting beforehand you can probably make it through 3 days, but you will have to pee. Now, as luck would have it you should have about 4-5 litres of bottle capacity developing over this period to balance the books.
Inevitably, you will fall asleep. And you will sleep for almost a day.
You will have to get back to flow later.
But 2-3 days of flow at a stretch is a great way to make progress.
Never mind that after a few weeks of repeating this pattern you will slowly start losing touch with reality. Or possibly quicker. We don’t keep spiders on the wall, do we? No? Okay.
But that is all a small price to pay.
You could, like… you know…
Do something you are enthused about,… bounce out of bed every morning… and slip straight back into flow as the work absorbs you. It somehow sounds like cheating though.