November 20, 2016

How to Do More, Better Work in Less Time

Hi, Creators! Today I want to share an effective method to produce more work, and better work, in less time, something those of us who work out of our homes need desperately. It’s a method called segmenting.

What is Segmenting?

busy-womanSimply put, segmenting means you pick one thing from the dozens swirling around in your head and cluttering up your to-do list, and commit to it and it alone for a given amount of time. During that time, you don’t do anything else. You don’t answer the phone, wander to your email inbox, look things up on the net, or stop for a snack. You focus just on that one thing.

Afterward, you can take a break, (but you need to set a time limit on that too!) Do something fun, go outside, take a walk, get a coffee, read your email, and then move on to another thing from your to-do list, and devote a given amount of time to that.

Why is This Better Than What I've Been Doing?

Maybe it’s not. You won’t know until you try it. For me, the proof is in the pudding. I get tons more done when I work this way. Choosing one thing at a time to focus on means my brain stops interrupting my work by reminding me of the other 101 things I should be doing. It means the task at hand gets my full and undivided attention, so I do a better job at it. And it means that nagging sense of guilt for not doing something else is eradicated, because the something else will get its turn. I find my productivity increases and my mind rests easier. My stress levels shrink to zero, and the quality of my work improves.

Sounds Great, Tell Me More

Okay, here’s an example from my own life. I get up in the morning. The house is a mess, I need to shop, I have a book about to release, another in progress, and 200 emails are waiting in my in-box.

In a case like this, my first “Break” comes before anything else. I walk the dogs, enjoy my morning coffee, spend some time with my hubby. Then I have my morning phone call with my assistant.

Then I begin.

Segment 1: Straighten up the House. 1 Hour.

Break: Check Email, Facebook, maybe another coffee. Half hour.

Segment 2: Write 2000 words on the book in progress. 2 Hours.

Break: Long lunch, time with hubby, outside with dogs. 1 Hour.

Segment 3: Schedule memes, social media posts, book ads & other promotion: 2 Hours

Break: Get through remaining email and goof off in any other way I feel like.

Segment 4: Pay bills, do banking, etc. 1 Hour.

Break, Day’s Over.

I'm Not Always Organized

This method helps me be more so, however. And when I have a devoted start and stop time for each task, somehow it just frees my mind so much more, allowing me to truly give whatever I’m working on my all.

Often, on Sundays, I list all my major tasks for the week. That becomes the list I pull from each morning as I set my segments for the day ahead.

Yes, unexpected things to crop up. When they do, I insert them into my schedule, and push whatever used to be there, back to another day.

Give it a Shot

Try this out if it appeals, and let me know how it goes for you.

And Happy Thanksgiving!

 

 

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