Human Bandwidth

Since the beginning of the month, my life has been nothing but crazy.

Between starting a new job, recovering from being sick, landing a few new projects, and a quick weekend trip with the family, my human bandwidth has been maxed-out.

I’ve known there to be limits, but have never really experienced it like this before.

We are human. We have limits.

No matter what I do to “compress” my time, I am still left with a 24-hour day and my body will only allow me a certain number of hours of worthwhile productivity every day.

Believe me, I’ve tried to test the limits with:

  • Less sleep.
  • More coffee.
  • Less leisure.
  • More work.

None of these tactics work, and even if you try some of these and find yourself with short-term gain, you’ll quickly find yourself behind the eightball and may even land a net loss.

Finding the right balance is key.

We all need different quantities of sleep and different tasks require different levels of mental energy.

That’s why things like Pomodoro techniques, Parkinson’s law, and using the right kind of task management and todo apps can really help maximize time spent working. It also helps to understand your own work rhythms, minimizing distractions, and know how long tasks should take to complete.

Beyond these means of “time compression” and maximizing your own work output, you are still left with natural limitations:

You are a human and only have 24 hours in one day.

Being mindful of these natural limitations has made a big difference for me.

When the day is almost over and I’ve worked my tail-off all day, it’s tempting to push through a little bit more and try and “squeeze” another hour of work in.

Instead, I have found that taking some time to read a book, play a video game, or chat with a friend, is the most productive thing I could ever do.

// Photo Credit: mag3737 via Compfight cc

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