By Leo Babauta
We will often start our days with the best of intentions … and then promptly get caught up in a chain of busywork, messages, opening browser tabs, checking on things, answering email …
… and soon the day has gone by and we wonder what we did with the day.
There’s a simple practice that can shift that in a huge way: the Interstitial Ritual.
It’s very simple:
- When you finish with a task (or email, message, reading something) … pause. Don’t go to the next tab or message right away.
- Take a breath. Notice where you are, how you feel, what is around you.
- Write down what you just finished, if it was a task. For me, I have a Today list and a Done list and I simply add the last task to my Done list, remove it from the Today list.
- Celebrate! Reinforce your accomplishment by being grateful.
- Now take another breath. What do you want to do next? It can be another task on your Today list, it can be answering the next email in your inbox, or it might be to take a break, drink some water, go for a walk, stretch.
- Set that intention, and get to it.
It’s that simple. A pause, a little mindfulness, write down what you just did, and then consider what you want to do next.
I promise you, this will bring a lot more intention, mindfulness and focus to your day. You might even get some important stuff done.
The trick is to remember. How will you remember to do this ritual after every task?
And how powerful would it be for you to make this shift?