Productivity Tip: Break it up

photobucket image by lizzurd13

Do you want to get more done in a day?

Break your activity into pieces.

I learned this lesson when I was working as an assistant editor by day and taking college classes by night. We published textbooks, and my boss, the publisher, had a doctorate in education. One day when I mentioned how hard it was to get my studying done because I’d start to nod off after a while, she shared this tip.

My boss said the best way to re-energize was to change subjects every so often during my study sessions. She said the mind grows tired of one activity after a certain amount of time. Switching from one task to another would relieve the boredom that led to my lethargy.

The past couple of days my To-do List rivaled War and Peace, and the Pressure Porcupine was paying me a visit. I recalled my boss’s wise counsel and heeded it. I spent some time on tax prep, switched to blogging when I’d had my fill of finances, and shifted to editing for one of my critique partners after formatting an interview for a blog guest.

Breaking my day into blocks enabled me to get more done than usual. My productivity soared, and my stress was reduced. I plan to use this technique more often.

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What tips do you have for getting more done in a day?


About Keli Gwyn

I'm an award-winning author of inspirational historical romance smitten with the Victorian Era. I'm currently writing for Harlequin's Love Inspired Historical line of wholesome, faith-filled romances. My debut novel, A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado, California, was released July 1, 2012. I'm represented by Rachelle Gardner of Book & Such Literary. I live in a Gold Rush-era town at the foot of the majestic Sierras. My favorite places to visit are my fictional worlds, other Gold Country towns and historical museums. When I'm not writing I enjoy taking walks, working out at Curves™ and reading.
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9 Responses to Productivity Tip: Break it up

  1. Wendy says:

    I practice triage living–getting to what’s most important first. And I don’t clean much. 😉 Straighten plenty, but not so clean. And I’m an insane multi-tasker. I’m constantly unloading the dishwashwer while on the phone or throwing out papers, etc.

    Love this about breaking it in pieces. Really makes any task seem doable.
    ~ Wendy

  2. A very good suggestion, Keli. A day does not drag when there are a variety of subject matter and activities on the schedule. Blessings to you…

  3. Tamika says:

    Some days it feels like I have too many spoons in the pot! But these days, I’m learning to adapt. A concrete schedule is a thing of the past:)

  4. Martina Bedregal Calderón says:

    Keli, YOU are a very productive woman..hehe: household, writing, and still putting so many interesting topics and great texts on your blog.

    For getting more done in one day I can only say: us women are mostly multitaskers. I have no problems in cooking and writing a song at the same time. Or chatting in 4 windows in 4 languages. And I know women who can help their kids with their homework, clean the kitchen and feed the cats and send the husband to the supermarket at the same time…lol.

    I still wish the day had 40 hours sometimes, and I sometimes wish I could live without sleeping.

  5. Tana Adams says:

    The Lord has just used you as a vessel, girl. I have been sinking and just last night I thought I need to block my day out. You’ve just confirmed this~!

  6. Great productivity suggestion, Keli. My tendency is to block out the time and press through until done. I love multi-tasking as others have talked about, so breaking up a big task should be a welcome change.

  7. Julie Nilson says:

    My day is often broken up into blocks by virtue of my schedule–taking the kids to school, picking them up, etc. So I find what works for me is looking at those blocks of time and deciding in advance what I *can* get done then. For example, if there are things I can get done when there are kids around, I do them at those times, so the tasks that require quiet and concentration can be done when the kids are at school.

    I’ve been reading your blog for a few weeks, and this is my first comment. Thanks for all of your great advice and information!

  8. I have found that I tend to be more productive earlier in the day. Also making a “To Do” list really helps me (and what a wonderful feeling when I cross off each item on the list!). 🙂 Sounds like that boss was very wise—I definitely need to change activities every so often. 🙂 Blessings, Patti Jo

  9. Learning not to procrastinate, for one.

    I’m continue to try to simplify my “stuff” so I can do less, be more, and just. write.

    It’s a bit of a challenge at my age with a crawling grandgirl around almost every day. 😉

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