I don’t parallel process. We really can’t, at least not effectively. Instead, I InterLace™️. And I get a crazy lot of things done daily. Others tell me this, and I know it too.
What on earth am I talking about? You’re intelligent, so you’ll probably guess that the terms InterLace™️ and InterLacing™️ (trademarked; that’s how much I believe in it) must mean something like alternating work. Well, that’s what it is, in simple terms. But here is the proper definition:
InterLacing™️ is working on three to six different activities in short, dedicated, alternating bursts, returning to each activity multiple times over the course of a day.
An example of an InterLaced™️ Day
Alternating set of activities
Here is an example of an InterLaced™️ day, my day yesterday, with each activity type represented by a capital letter. Productive activities are in bold. Health and Rest & Recreation activities are in regular font.
(I woke up at 6.15 a.m. and slept at 10.30 p.m. I’ve left out ablutions, eating, and dawdling time.)
This may look fragmented or convoluted, but trust me, it’s natural and easy. You’ll agree when you begin after finishing this article.
7.00–7.45 — A — Did health activity (yoga, meditation)
8.00–8.45 — A — Did aerobic health activity (stair-climbing, walking, weights)
9.00–10.00 — B — Did office work (meetings and emails)
10.00–10.30 — D— Did home activity (sofa and door related)
10.30–11.30 — B— Did office work (automation solution design)
11.30–12.00 — E— Did apartment complex activity (upkeep related)
12.00–1.00 —B — Did office work (met with an architect)
1.30–2.00 — C — Did learning activity (self-learning)
2.00–2.15 — G— R&R (had a nap)
2.30–3.00 — B — Did office work (finished a PPT)
3.00–3.15 — E— Did apartment complex activity (lights related)
3.30–4.00 — B — Did office work (presentation for CTO)
4.00–4.30 — F— Created something (wrote a Medium story)
4.30–5.00 — B — Did office work (meeting)
5.00–5.30—C — Did learning activity (course)
5.30–6.00 — G— R&R (made some snacks and tea)
6.00–6.30 — D— Did home activity (dishwasher related)
6.30–7.00 — F— Created something (wrote some more)
7.00–7.45 — A — Did health activity (walking)
8.00–8.15 — E— Did apartment complex activity (water issue)
8.15–8.30 — D— Did home activity (braces related)
8.30–9.30 — G— R&R (watched a streaming show)
9.45–10.30 — G— R&R (read a book and listened to music)
The length of the lace sections over the day
A — Total health activity — 2.15 hours in 3 sessions
B— Total office work— 4.5 hours in 6 sessions
C — Total learning activity — 1.0 hours in 2 sessions
D — Total home activity — 1.15 hours in 3 sessions
E— Total social giveback activity — 1.0 hours in 3 sessions
F— Total creative activity — 1 hour in 2 sessions
G — Total R&R activity — 3.15 hours in 4 sessions
The picture below visualises this InterLacing™️ example
(The overall diagram represents a day, with each activity in a separate horizontal line and colour. The parts of an activity are as long as their durations. Image created by the author.)
Why does InterLacing™️ work?
- We’ve evolved to keep moving from one activity to another to relieve our body and mind from boredom and strain. InterLacing™️ aligns with and boosts our nature to make the best of it.
- Knowing we’ll be doing just a bit of something makes it less daunting and prevents procrastination.
- Everything keeps moving along without stalling, and there’s a great sense of satisfaction in that.
- One day’s laces join the laces of the next, and on and on. In a month, a lot is achieved. Picture in your mind the strings in the picture above extending daily.
- Others associated with an activity feel good seeing its progress, which motivates and energises them.
- The activities benefit from each other in our minds, consciously or unconsciously.
- It gives our brain an excellent all-around workout and keeps it young and agile.
- It’s good for anything. With InterLacing™️, you’ll finish writing your book, learning a song, doing a course, arranging a party, or completing your work project.
What to do for effective InterLacing™️
- Keep activity sessions between ten minutes to an hour long.
- InterLace™️ a different set of activities on weekends and holidays compared to work days.
- InterLace™️ most tasks over a day, but InterLace™️ over a week, month, or year for others. For example, you can InterLace™️ weight training over a week, books over a month, and professional courses over a year.
- I used to jot down the things to InterLace™️. Now, I don’t need it. But it would be best if you started with that.
What not to do in InterLacing™️
- Don’t get impatient with an activity, and attempt to finish it off by dropping others. Remember, it will add up soon enough and get done.
- Don’t think of other activities while you’re doing one. You know you’ll return to them soon, so focus on the one you’re doing.
- Don’t stress if you don’t cover all activities in a day. You’ll get better at it with time.
- Don’t forget to do R&R activities! They are not ‘cheating’ but vital to healthy InterLacing™️.
Leave little things undone daily, and they become mountains.
Do many little things daily and move mountains.
InterLace™️ yourself to success in work and life.
Connect with me!