The “useful interruption”

It's a psychological trick to avoid work paralysis, inspired by Ernest Hemingway's discipline of writing and it means to stop a task when everything is going well.

You will be more motivated to get back to a task that you've interrupted when it was going well.

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Ernest Hemingway
"The best way is always to stop when you are going good and when you know what will happen next. If you do that every day when you are writing a novel, you will never be stuck."

Studies show that it can actually be beneficial.

To get all the positive effects from this (and to get back at it) you should feel that you are close to completing that task and you also should feel challenged enough by it, to care about its completion.

"We need to have belief in ourselves – some kind of expectation that we can do something. And when we're closer to finishing something that we had previously failed to achieve, then that optimism increases."

It is a school of thought emerged in Austria and Germany in the early 20th century.

It was built of the belief that humans make sense of the world through patterns; thus, the whole picture was more important to us than its individual parts.

We can apply the belief of gestaltism (when we have parts of something, we always want to create a whole) to task management.

That means that we want to complete something if we have parts of it already figured out, especially if it's close to making sense or close to achieving some sort of goal.

When an interruption happens and it stops us from completing a task, we tend to feel unsatisfied and in need of closure.

This interruption can provide a motivational boost and determine us to finish what we started, but it's not always the case.

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RELATED IDEAS

For freelancers, clients don't usually care about your working hours, as long as you get projects in on time. Introduce a routine that works around when you are most productive, even if it means working in the evening instead of the morning. Just make sure you have a set start time and a set finish time.

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Distracted every 10 minutes

On average, employees who do the majority of their work on computers are distracted almost every ten minutes.

Most of the interruptions are external - an incoming email or a colleague stopping by to chat. But a significant proportion also comes from the individuals who voluntarily switch tasks.

The Zeigarnik Effect

Unfinished work continues to exert an influence, even when we try to move on to other things.

When you start working on something but do not finish it, thoughts of the unfinished work continue to pop into your mind even when you've moved on to other things. Such thoughts urge you to go back and finish it.

Books, video games and tv-series all take advantage of this effect.

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