Back to Insights

The Hemingway Trick

In the groove or stuck in a rut?

We talk a lot about flow states in our work at Work Time Reduction, and sometimes it is easier said than done. 🤔

So, I’m sharing a productivity tip from Amantha Imber in her latest for Fast Company which I think many of you in my network might find useful. ✅

The concept she introduces here is known as ‘The Hemingway Trick’, based on an old adage from the decorated writer Ernest Hemingway – “when you are going good, stop writing”.

Effectively, it argues that by leaving a task incomplete at the end of the work day, your brain finds it easier to switch on the next day by picking up where you left off than starting from scratch. 💡

“Our brain continues to think about the unfinished task and when we come back to it, our brain is primed to easily pick up where it left off”.

This is also linked to ‘The Zeigarnik Effect’, based on a famous 1926 experiment that demonstrates that our brains hate unfinished business so much, they retain the information until closure is achieved! 🧠

You can try this out for yourself by finishing your work day midway through a sentence, slide, line of code, or whatever work you’re doing. If you do, let me know how it works for you in the comments!