When you don’t feel like working

When a plumber doesn’t feel like going to work, he goes anyway. When you don’t feel like working, what do you do?

If the plumber decides not to show up for appointments because he doesn’t feel like it, he’ll soon be out of business.

For knowledge workers, the consequences of not showing up are very different. If you’re a knowledge worker, you might have a great deal of autonomy in choosing when and where to work. Maybe you even routinely have the luxury of choosing what to work on.

If you, the knowledge worker, take a few days off, that might have no serious consequences. In fact, taking frequent breaks is essential for getting knowledge work done.

There’s a downside, though, to having the latitude to decide when and where to work. You’ll face choices more often: work now, or take a break? Push through resistance or recharge your batteries?

Depending on your habits and your personality, you might benefit from a little more discipline or from taking it a little bit easier. The tricky part is figuring out what’s best for you.

So, do you need to act more like a plumber?


— Peter

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