But what defines a “doable chunk”?
I have been pondering this lately as I realize just how fragmented I have — through various choices — made my life. Because I work from home, I can eat lunch with my kids. That’s great, and I enjoy it, but it also means they expect it, and so even on busy days I tend not to grab a sandwich and hunker at my desk, which is what I did when Jasper was in daycare. I feed the baby every three hours. Sometimes I do school runs. I need to exercise for my own sanity (and as part of the Gladwyne Diet). But that’s another chunk out of my day. And then there’s the inevitable illnesses, doctor visits and dental visits.
Many people have trouble concentrating for more than 90 minutes at a stretch, but as a result of this fragmentation, I’m lucky to get an hour. So doable chunks need to be incredibly doable.
Fortunately, I’ve learned you can do more in fragmented spurts than I used to think. I can crank out a blog post at one time and post it at another. I can make a list of people to email for a column in one chunk of time, and email them in another. Phone interviews fit into other chunks. I’ve realized I don’t need a whole day to crank out an article or column. If I budget a whole day, I’ll probably have time to pursue other goals later on. I often edit the next day (to give me some mental space from what I just wrote). I come up with my ideas while running. Because I’ve started realizing how much can get done in small spurts, I’ve started seizing available spurts to build up my blog post surplus.
Of course, fragmentation isn’t good for some things. I’m not sure I could write a book with this schedule. I’m not making much progress on that novel. But little bits of time do add up to big bits of time and, eventually, to getting things done.
What do you do in bits of time?
(photo courtesy flickr user Images_of_Money)