By in Mind and Money | 16 comments

We are back home and so happy. During the entire vacation, I had one hour online total! After five days visiting family, sans internet,  I couldn’t wait to get online. This morning, after sleeping great in my own bed, I logged on. I’m already ten minutes over my self imposed one hour time deadline to answer emails and comments on my website.


Productivity Tips-Save Time

1. Bunch Tasks; I usually check my email a few times per day (in spite of efforts to the contrary). Obviously, on vacation, I only checked my email once during five days. This morning, I skimmed my email and decided to respond to all but the most crucial. Next, I moved on to the blog comments that built up during my absence. I went through methodically and quickly and answered every one. I was quick and efficient and completed the task in under thirty minutes. Ordinarily, during the week, I would have spent hours writing responses, checking them, and rereading. The checking and rereading are just a waste of time.

Put all the same type of tasks together. Work through them quickly and with focus. Next move on. Don’t recheck, reread, and review. It’s a waste of time. Once done with a task, don’t come back to the same task to do just “one more little bit.” That is totally inefficient. Move on.

2. Make a to do list. Do what’s on the list, and skip tasks that aren’t. Now, is that so tough? Where you (and by you, I mean me 🙂 ) get bogged down is by getting distracted, off track, and unfocused. Stick with one task at a time, focus, and move on. Multitasking is over rated.

List only the most important tasks. Remember the 80:20 Pareto Principle rule. Most of your results come from a small percent of your activities. Focus on the activities that give you the greatest return for your time. Isn’t it better to work on the plan to snag a new client, than wash your car? Why not have your kid wash the car? Pay her a few bucks and it’s a win win.

3. Take breaks. Productivity soars when you take frequent breaks. Ever noticed the ideas that come up when you are working out, doing something creative, or taking a walk. Those times away from the grind are equally as productive as time spent working. Although it’s counter intuitive, working in 20 to 30 minute blocks ups your productivity.

Try setting a timer for 20 minutes, get up for a few minutes and then return to work. See what happens. Do you get more or less accomplished?

Vacations are great because they get you out of your routine. You can recharge, relax and come up with new insights into your life.

Cant’t Get Enough Productivity?

What are your productivity tips?


  1. I’m trying to bunch up my emailing also. I don’t want to be a slave to the the “chime” or “dings” from my computer.

    Brent Pittman

    June 29, 2012

  2. Welcome back! I agree with your tips. We also just got back from a 5-day Niagara Falls & Toronto road trip and used similar methods. In addition, we turned off our cellphones while in Canada and checked our emails and other online items while we were in the hotel room where we had free internet.

    Early Financial Freedom

    June 29, 2012

  3. @Brent-Sometimes I think I need a chain to keep my fingers from pushing the key to check my email.
    @Early-Oh, I love Niagara FAlls and Toronto. Some of my favorite vacation spots. Did you walk under the falls?


    June 29, 2012

  4. I am a huge advocate of lists! I have such a great feeling when I cross off something. I am on summer vacation too and I mix breaks with my tasks which makes me so much more productive.


    June 29, 2012

  5. I just need to learn to quit procrastinating. If I set a time limit and solely worked on that task during that time period I’d be so much more productive…


    June 30, 2012

  6. I’ve had a week working long and late hours without a good pattern for anything. As much as it feels like I worked my backside off I doubt I got anymore done than a scheduled planned more relaxed week.

    Great tips.

    Forest Parks

    June 30, 2012

  7. Taking breaks greatly helps my productivity. I think best on my feet, so if I get snagged, the best thing I can do is go get a cup of water and come back. I usually have an idea by the time I get back.

  8. @Lance, I don’t know how you can have a blog and be a procrastinator 🙂 There’s always so much to do. I like to break tasks down into tiny bits when I’m having trouble getting going.
    @Forest-Don’t you hate that? I try to work less, but up productivity without getting caught in minutia.
    @Wayne-I love to get outside and walk around our condo complex to get the cobwebs out.


    July 1, 2012

  9. Good points! The one where I fail consistently is the last one – I alwasy forget to take breaks and get annoyed when I set a reminder.


    July 2, 2012

  10. Hi Maria, I think about setting a reminder, ie buying an egg timer (old school), but haven’t done it yet.


    July 3, 2012

  11. Great tips. I especially agree with the taking breaks one. I have been implementing short rest breaks and I am finding I get much more done. Your brain and body needs a few minutes to catch up some days.

    Thanks for including my post too. I hope people find it helpful.

  12. I bunch check things all the time, instead of responding to each email as it comes in, I just check it now and then. I don’t get notified when I get a new email so i can focus on one task at a time. It really helps.

    Great tips.

    Kylie Ofiu

    July 31, 2012

  13. @Miss T- It’s so important to switch tasks and take breaks, it really improves overall productivity…. yet, I’m always working on this one.
    @Kylie, Great advice. I try to keep email checking down to 3 times per day (easier said than done).

    Barbara Friedberg

    July 31, 2012

  14. Great Post!
    I usually take breaks whenever I get a task done. It’s my way of rewarding myself. However, there are also times that I take breaks because I hit a roadblock. I take a nap or get some fresh air.
    I also have to agree with you on #2. Everyone knows that making a to-do list or creating a good plan for the day is important to be able to know what big tasks need to be done.
    Whenever I’m out, I still find myself thinking of my to-do list and organizing my tasks and ideas. On an article I’ve recently bumped into, keeping track is one secret to greater productivity.

    Gabbrielle Suarez

    September 23, 2012

  15. Hi Gabbrielle, Thanks for confirming and reminding me of the importance of sticking to productivity tips.It’s so easy to forget the right thing to do to continue to be your best self!


    September 24, 2012

  16. You’re welcome! Productivity tips can only be effective if we take it to action. 🙂
    Thanks for taking the time to reply, Barb.

    Gabbrielle Suarez

    September 24, 2012

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