Gini Dietrich

Getting More Done: My Secret

By: Gini Dietrich | November 7, 2011 | 

I was scrolling through my Twitter stream a couple of days ago and I saw the following phrase:

Why bosses should beware of pasta and peanut butter.

But then I got distracted and never had the opportunity to click through to see what it meant.

Until now.

According to The Corner Office at BNET, it has the following meaning:

If you’re looking to destroy your company, try adopting a “peanut butter” approach, spreading your resources thinly across every available surface. If your company survives that, try a “pasta” strategy, in which you fling money and resources around at random to see what sticks.

If you’re like me, you’ve likely employed both of these “strategies.” But the “peanut butter” approach really has me thinking, especially in this economy where we’re all doing more with less.

We live in a real-time, instant world where, if you’re not multi-tasking – or spreading your resources thinly across every available surface – you’re perceived as one who can’t manage everything.

But is the human brain equipped to cope with more than one thing at a time?

If you’re on a conference call or webinar, for example, how many of you will also check email, text a family member, or instant message a colleague? When you do that, how much of the call are you missing? I’d venture to guess most of it.

Test a theory for me.

Choose a challenging task that needs to be accomplished the next day. Block out 60-90 minutes to at least get it started, if not complete it. Close email. Turn off Skype and instant messaging. Put your email in offline mode. Turn off every alert you get for your social networks. Set the timer for your allotted time and get to work.

I’m willing to bet good money you’re much more productive working this way. If it works, determine the top five things you need to accomplish each day, set your timer, and get to work.

Soon you’ll be leaving the office earlier and people will wonder how it is that you’re able to be so productive.

This first ran as my weekly column in Crain’s

About Gini Dietrich

Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. She is the author of Spin Sucks, co-author of Marketing in the Round, and co-host of Inside PR. She also is the lead blogger at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro.

  • glenn_ferrell

    Fully agree. We are not well-equipped to do multi-tasking. If I ever had an ideal day, I could block out the time to start and finish a single task completely — but the world of “client interrupts” forces me to find ways to store the “state” of the task so that I can resume it quickly when the interrupt is done.

    Managing “latency” (the “ramp-down” / “ramp-up” time between tasks) is the secret to efficiency. We all try to do good scheduling and prioritization, but the key to managing latency is figuring out a method for capturing exactly where you left off on a task so that you can resume it quickly.

    When an Operating System is interrupted during a task, it pushes the “state” of the task onto a stack, to be popped off whenever the scheduling algorithm says it’s time to resume. OSs may start and stop the same task many many times before they complete it (depending on workload.)

    Of course, operating systems never get pissed off or flustered — but that’s another topic…

    Anyway, to be really effective, most of us (especially those of us without steel-trap short term memory) have to have some kind of scheme to “push” the critical details of where we left a task to a piece of paper, file, notebook — some consistent “stack” — where we can pop it back off after the interrupt. If you don’t do this, latency will EAT your day 🙂

    • ginidietrich

      @glenn_ferrell So are you recommending we all become computers, Glenn?!? In all seriousness, your point about latency is true. I rely on post-it notes to help me with the details. Probably not the best scheme, but it works for me.

      • glenn_ferrell

        @ginidietrich Probably better than mine – I use torn up scrap paper 🙂

  • PegFitzpatrick

    Totally agree with you Gini – unplugging is the only way to go. I don’t have any notifications sent to my iPhone for social networks as I find this helps me focus more, especially when I am away from my computer. The amount of interruptions (Skype, Google chat, Facebook chat, Twitter etc) is really ridiculous. Do we really need instant access to people 24 hours a day? I think not.

    • mentormarketing

      @PegFitzpatrick People’s expectations for instant access only come about when you make yourself available at all hours. Set Client expectations 1st thing, the relationship will work better.

      • ginidietrich

        @mentormarketing@PegFitzpatrick Expectations, expectations, expectations! We talk a lot internally about boundaries. If we drop everything for a new business prospect and do things like meet them on a weekend, they’re going to expect it throughout the entire relationship. Too many times we all make those mistakes.

    • ginidietrich

      @PegFitzpatrick What?!? No 24 hours a day access? My heart is hurting. 🙂

      • PegFitzpatrick

        @ginidietrich Of course YOU can have 24 hour access Gini!

        But remember the days before cell phones when you left the office and this meant no more phone calls or email? We have constant interruptions at our house for cell phone calls and email, this would be my husband, and it has really affected the quality of life. Being on call 24 hours a day is crazy – but in this day & age working in worldwide times zones and a tough economy, it is hard to turn things off.

        • ginidietrich

          @PegFitzpatrick I have a friend who runs an agency in Canada and he implemented the “no email after 5 pm” rule. He said it’s working really well.

        • @ginidietrich@PegFitzpatrick I have that rule, too! I try to abide by it, but I’ve been guilty of breaking it. I do have a strong “no business emails during the weekends” rule, though.

  • It’s a sad but true sign that social media and connectivity has become all too rampant. Since I’m starting to go back to school, I’ve started to “turn off” every day at lunch (except Fridays)– I lock my computer screen, turn off the sound and monitor, as well as disable my email notifications on my phone, and read my course readings or attend to other assignments. It helps to have one dedicated hour where I can focus on reading (not skimming) text and absorb information without interruption.

    If I find the email and office “pop-in’s” are too disruptive, I also employ the tactic of physically leaving my office with a notebook and materials to read and retreat to the student study lounge (the advantages of working in a university). That’s the ideal location for focus and concentration!

    • ginidietrich

      @Krista This is how I’m getting a book written – with that very same theory. We’re so smart!

  • patrickreyes

    I was just talking to someone about this today! It’s so easy to get distracted on the task at hand when you are constantly being alerted with e-mails, tweets, facebook alerts, google reader, etc.

    Productivity has definitely suffered with technology today…I think it does take people longer to get things done than before.

    I’ll accept your challenge this week and let you know how it works out on Saturday when I see you!

    • ginidietrich

      @patrickreyes I get to see you on Saturday!

  • Oh, so that’s your secret: Only do one thing at a time. Makes sense. I also find that setting some long-term goals helps me to focus on what’s important. If a task doesn’t help me get where I want to go, I try to forget it. I’m not always successful, but at least it gives me a framework.

    • ginidietrich

      @Shelley Pringle Great point about the long-term goals. I have our vision posted on the wall in front of me. If I’m about to embark on something that doesn’t fit the vision, I don’t do it.

      • John_Trader1

        @ginidietrich@Shelley Pringle developing a “Vision Board” is a good idea. This is an opportunity for you to get a bulletin board and fill it with pictures, notes, charts, graphs and other related meaningful items that depict the most important goals and objectives for you to accomplish in a preset period of time to reference from time to time. Helps me to keep my eye on the ball and prioritize.

        • ginidietrich

          I want to see your vision board!

        • @ginidietrich@John_Trader1 Love the idea of the bulletin board. I’m going to try that.

  • mentormarketing

    I use post-it notes in 3 staged colors to track tasks through completion, a workflow of sorts.

    Also If I know something will take concentration I do it on my desktop vs my notebook.

    I find that sitting at a proper workstation helps my focus and comprehension.

    I leave my cell phone on, but I use the reply to call with email feature where I tell people I’ll return the call in 15 minutes, which gives me time to find a stop point.

    • ginidietrich

      @mentormarketing I don’t know how people can focus without sitting at a proper workstation. I’m the same way!

  • ginidietrich

    @michellehals Let me know how it works for you!

  • craigmillertv

    @ginidietrich So elementary, right? But we have moved a long way off from the basic stuff, I guess.

    • ginidietrich

      @craigmillertv You are correct

  • smccollo

    I have always been this way, I cannot imagine answering messages or texting during a meeting or conference call. Quite frankly, it is rude and unprofessional, I would be discouraged if I knew someone was doing that on the other end of the line with me. Then again, I have been that way my whole life. Even studying in school, the whole family knew I was going to be busy and not to bother me and I would hole myself up to work until it was time for a break. Anything worth doing deserves your whole and entire attention.

    • ginidietrich

      @smccollo That sounds like your parents did a really good job teaching you what’s important! When I’m with clients, and they pull out their phones, it makes me want to double bill them. I hate it.

  • doug__davidoff


    Great post. In my experience, success is more often determined by what you choose NOT to do, rather than what you choose to do.



    • ginidietrich

      @doug__davidoff I agree. I was making a broad assumption people are already doing what they’re supposed to do.

      • doug__davidoff

        It’s actually bigger than that. I’ve always called it the Broken Plate Theory. You can choose to spin a whole bunch of plates and have them be wobbly, or you can choose the plates that will spin well. To have plates spin really well, you need to allows some plates to break – and that’s noisy and messy.

        The biggest challenge I’ve seen with small and mid-market business (and even many large ones) is they can choose and accept where they are going to be weak. So they end up playing to their weaknesses.

  • As much as this makes sense I seem to sabotage myself daily when I leave all those alerts open which continue to distract me. I might try it for 60 minutes today. We need more posts reminding us of these events.

    • ginidietrich

      @rj_c I think we all sabotage ourselves! Try it. Just an hour. Set the timer on your phone. Do it.!

  • Got it. Turn off everything except for my Spin Sucks alert.

    Check! 🙂

    –Tony Gnau

    • ginidietrich

      @T60Productions You’re so smart!

  • WorkFlowy is my best friend on days when the deadlines are many & I’m struggling to focus. Try it. It rocks.

    • ginidietrich

      @jasonkonopinski I’m always trying different methods and apps, but the post-it notes are always what I go back to. I can use them when I’m on a plane and technology isn’t allowed.

    • @jasonkonopinski WorkFlowy looks interesting. I cannot escape from all these productivity tools…

  • ariherzog

    @vanhoosear If you are sharing @ginidietrich’s secret, how’s it a secret?

  • I am in IT so I never know when the next fire might be coming. For me this invokes the importance of having a plan. Usually I can really focus if I have a clear plan. I will try this and see if it helps me finish a challenging task 🙂

    • ginidietrich

      @hackmanj It’s hard when you’re in client service. Have you tried what @mentormarketing suggests for calls that come in that you can’t answer immediately?

      • @ginidietrich@mentormarketing I like the suggestion, I work almost exclusively at my workstation. The auto respond idea is interesting… I did order a huge whiteboard for the area above my desk. I try to organize as much as I can electronically though so it is accessible anywhere. I use tickets in a PSA software called Connectwise and calendar items in Outlook for things that have to get done 🙂

        • mentormarketing

          @hackmanj@ginidietrich RE: whiteboards I use a pad of white sketch paper with post its on it, I can reorder the post-it notes as I need to, hence flexible work flow management => low tech wise. Also I snap a pic of the changes and save it to a evernote on my phone, so I can access the paper board from where ever I am at, and I also have the rollbacks or version changes as time moves.

  • FrankDickinson

    I’m doing this today for a couple of important blog posts I need to write!

    You rock!

    • ginidietrich

      @FrankDickinson Let me know how it works!

  • TMNinja

    Great tips, Gini!

    Sounds like you have a secret “Fortress of Solitude.” 🙂

    • ginidietrich

      @TMNinja Don’t tell anyone!

  • kathy_moore

    Getting More Done: good post from @ginidietrich http :// via @rustyspeidel

  • I try to block that time out when I sleep; I find I’m much less prone to multi-task at that point.

    It’s a catch-22; you absolutely do NOT have the same focus if you multi-task (and you think just because you can you should) but it’s hard to make yourself ‘create’ that single focused time. There will always be distractions, but the closer you can get to being fully ‘in the moment’ the better the end result will be.

    How’s that? That was actually on topic for the most part and whereas it might not have been profoundly intelligent, it wasn’t too doofus either……….just sayin’………

    • ginidietrich

      @bdorman264 I suppose it’s probably easier for those of us in leadership positions – we can close the door or leave the office easier than young professionals.

      And…you’re always a doofus.

      • @ginidietrich You weren’t supposed to be able to see through me like that; I thought I had you believing I was really swave and deboner……..maybe I should have just stayed online, huh?

        • ginidietrich

          @bdorman264 It was the speedo that gave you away.

  • Pingback: Getting More Done: My Secret - Social Media Information()

  • I like to do everything at once and accomplish everything poorly.

    OK, fine. I’ll give this a try.

    • ginidietrich

      @JayDolan How was the big trip?!?

      • @ginidietrich I made it back to North Carolina safely, and there was a lot of happiness through the whole trip.

        There’s also a reason it’s taking me a while to write my next blog post.

  • I think this is true for men, but not for women. Men can’t multi-task. Yes. I’m just kidding.

    I completely agree. Get rid of all the distractions, and it’s amazing how quickly we can get things done. Then reward with the facebook/twitter/email break. and then back to it.

    Now wait…. I came onto the blog for a reason.. what was I doing?

    • ginidietrich

      @Lisa Gerber You came to get your lamp.

      • @ginidietrich@Lisa Gerber But there’s a problem. If I get rid of the distractions, that means I have to get rid of you guys…

        • @KenMueller @ginidietrich wow, and then imagine how much productivity would increase. For three people!!! 🙂

      • @ginidietrich and my pen. and this coffee cup. (HAHAHA, can you tell I’m getting inspiration for the objects from my desktop?)

  • Perfect timing on this post @ginidietrich Yesterday I had a specific task that I needed to accomplish but I just couldn’t get creative…I had my FB and Twitter open on my laptop as I struggled with my task…I commiserated with kdillabough who suggested that I just step away for awhile and take in life for a bit and then return…and my addition to that great suggestion was that I “unplugged” from my distractions when I returned to my laptop…no more FB, Twitter or email…and guess what? Well, you probably know the answer since that is the whole point here. And, even though @Lisa Gerber is right…we CAN multitask pretty well…I think we owe it to our brains and our creativity to give ourselves a multi-tasking break every once in awhile and focus on one thing, one project, one event, one person at a time.

    Excellent (as always) article ginidietrich


    • @SocialMediaDDS@Lisa Gerberginidietrich Thanks for the tip of the hat Claudia: I’m glad you took that break away.

      And I won’t even get started on “multi-tasking”. Don’t believe in it. Don’t do it. Not productive, effective or efficient. Yeah…you got me started…Cheers! Kaarina

    • ginidietrich

      @SocialMediaDDS Amazing what walking away will do, isn’t it? I’m also amazed daily about how much I can accomplish if I set the timer and get to work. If that doesn’t work, I go for a run or bike ride and voila! It takes care of itself pretty quickly after I’m back at my desk.

  • skooloflife

    I’ve said many things about why I think the 8 hour workday doesn’t make any sense. I believe that there’s a certain diminishing return in our ability to be productive over an extended period of time. But giving yourself time limits and working through things in that manner can be really powerful. I’ve been able to do crazy things like write an ebook in two weeks by incorporating time blocks where I focus on just on thing.

    • ginidietrich

      @skooloflife I’ve always loved your philosophy of work and surf. I’m training myself to do the same (but run or cycle). It’s hard to not feel guilty for running out in the middle of the day, but I’m LOTS more productive when I do.

      It looks like BlogWorld went really well for you? Did you lose your voice?

    • Great point about the 8 hour workday. It was one thing when we stood up and were active for that time period in the industrial age. In fact, I recently assembled a standing desk so I can slowly transition back to standing. For mental tasks, 8 hours straight through or even with a food break makes little sense. @skooloflife

      • ginidietrich

        @Tinu@skooloflife Even in school we don’t sit for eight hours. Recess anyone?

      • @Tinu@skooloflife Working with a group of programmers has taught me that you need to unplug your brain & simply play for a bit. The dogs are always here at the office, there’s a ping pong table that gets a lot of use and I take 10 – 15 minutes every day to take a quick longboard ride around downtown to reinvigorate myself. Works wonders.

  • I don’t often do this, but I’ve been trying it with the book and it seems to be working. Mostly I think I’ll turn off the outside world when I write, although I often have to go to the Internet to reference articles, gather information, etc, so I need to make sure that when I do that, I don’t give in to the temptation to log into Facebook, Twitter, and email.

    Overall, I tend to work best with at least 2 or 3 things going, including music. I was always like that, even back in the day in HS and college before the Interwebs were invented. But my ADD has increased greatly so I need to be more cognizant of that and I’m also seeking to get more done during the day so I can be more “present” with my family in the evening. Like tonight…when the Iggles kick Bear butt! Well, actually I may be on Twitter or Facebook or Skype verbally abusing you.

    • Depending on the task and the music, I don’t count it as a thing that has to be shut off. There was a study about ten or fifteen years ago that showed that kids who listened to jazz or classical music as they studied did better in school. Something about neural pathways that sounded like gibberish to me but instinctively felt right. I think different people need varying levels of background or the complete absence of it to work effectively. If I’m doing something with anything technical, I have to have some kind of background noise going. It’s almost as if part of my brain needs to be occupied for the rest to focus. Different conditions when I’m doing something creative. It’s weird. But I guess we all have to do what works for us. @KenMueller

      • @Tinu@KenMueller I always have music playing when I work – but it has to be music that I know *very* well or I wind up focusing on the instrumentation and arrangement more than what I should be working on. Oops. Headphones on and head down – one project at a time. I’m a firm believer that the human brain simply isn’t appropriately wired for multi-tasking. I know the quality of my creative output suffers greatly when I’ve let too many things pile up.

    • ginidietrich

      @KenMueller DA BEARS!!!

      • @ginidietrich no no no. Fly Iggles Fly!

        • @ginidietrich and wouldn’t you know, today I’m distracted beyond belief. Work is being put on the backburner as we speak.

  • I guess I’m used to hunkering down when I have a huge project to accomplish. I think it’s the byproduct of writing all those research papers in college and grad school. What’s really strange is how my work process changes depending on the project. If I’m drawing (bacon badges for instance), I enter the drawing zone, usually accompanied by some electronica or some music with a good beat. I may have Facebook or Twitter open, but it’s a little hard to tweet or comment when my hands are covered in pencil. Writing’s different. Poetry – no music whatsoever and no technology until I’ve gotten some lines written. Other writing – some sort of music but not anything that’s going to distract me. If the topic’s especially difficult or I’m having trouble writing, I turn off everything. No music, email, or online fun. Just me and the words. I’ve never used a timer, but I can see how it would be a good idea when trying to accomplish multiple projects. I’m somewhat obsessive, too, so a timer might be a good investment. 🙂

    • ginidietrich

      @Erin F. I use the timer on my phone. Yesterday I set it for an hour to finish chapter six of the book I’m writing. And at 45 minutes I was struggling with what to write next. But I knew I had only 15 more allotted minutes so I pushed through and actually wrote more than I expected. It works really well.

  • MichaelBowers

    @nateriggs Thanks for the RT. How are things going down on the farm? (Get the Bob Evans reference?)

    • nateriggs

      @michaelbowers Yes, Totally. 🙂 Working from home today. The farm is good. Lots in progress. Kind of nuts, but what else is new, right?;)

  • I am good at multitasking but it depends on the nature of what needs to be done. You will almost never find a time where I don’t listen to music. Email is easily managed for me- ti is the damn phone that is a problem.

    • ginidietrich

      @TheJackB I always listen to music, too. I think it’s because I’m the oldest of six and I grew up studying with lots of noise. I turn my phone off. I have zero problem putting people to VM until I’m ready to talk.

      • @ginidietrich@TheJackB Me, too! Voice mail is a wonderful thing! I’m also trying to embrace the delete, delegate or address method with email and do that a few times throughout the day. It’s a challenge, but I’m getting there.

      • @ginidietrich I have four sisters and am the only brother so I think I understand a little bit. My sisters will tell you that I can fight all four of them off at the same time and keep doing whatever it is I am doing.

        Used to make them crazy. My telephone issue is different. I don’t have any one to screen the business calls so most of the time I have to take them. I hope to change that soon, but until I do….

      • rustyspeidel

        @ginidietrich@TheJackB which is…um…NEVER!

  • I’ve been reading the book “Your Brain at Work” and the author really strongly makes the case that the human brain is just not equipped to multi-task. In fact it’s not really good at doing one thing at a time either (even if you shut off the external distractions, your internal processes pop up).

    I’m starting to think that this is an important skill for us to learn, and not many people are that good at it.

    • ginidietrich

      @blfarris So if we can’t multi-task and we can’t do on thing at a time, how the heck are we supposed to work?

      • @ginidietrich@blfarris if you worked at 7-11 you can just focus on keeping the coffee station with fresh coffee and stirrers. Wait that is multitasking. How can they ask you to multitask for that kind of pay?

  • No you can not take away my Skype! I refuse! I am hooked! You mean evil woman!Momma!!!! Momma!!!! Wahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!! I need my Skype!

    Wait….what is Skype?

    I thought you said Skippie Peanut Butter. Not the healthiest but damn tasty especially crunchy.

    Sorry. Carry on. Great tips. Not really a secret anymore eh?

    BTW I typed this while listening to Iron Maiden during a Teleconference and almost at level 346 of Tetris while sipping a Latte.

    • ginidietrich

      @HowieSPM I love peanut butter! In fact, I had a toasted peanut butter and banana sammich on Friday and it was delicious!

      • @ginidietrich@HowieSPM //my breakfast on most mornings!! LOVE PB&B 😉

        • @SocialMediaDDS@ginidietrich I just like PB&B. Never been a jelly guy. But adding some butter on on side is quite yummy. Yes I know I am weird. My girlfriend thinks I hate everything just because I hate eggs, cream cheese, mustard, sweet potatoes, and sou cream.

    • @HowieSPM Which Iron Maiden song. I just finished a set of Number of The Beast, The Trooper and Run To The Hills.

      • @TheJackB I knew I liked you for more than your social media Jack! Yes love Killers, Number of the Beast and Piece of Mind after that they got a bit too accessible for me.

        • @HowieSPM How many bands are flown around by the lead singer. I liked Powerslave but didn’t really go too far beyond that.

        • @TheJackB 2 or 3 years ago when Guns and Roses was touring just Axel Rose as the original member he ordered security at a concert in Australia to not let anyone in wearing a Slash t shirt!

  • ginidietrich

    @MaraShorr LOL! I <3 you!

    • MaraShorr

      @ginidietrich You rock!

  • Singular focus is the key to almost every success I’ve had. I have parts of the day where I multi-task like everyone else, but at the top of the day, I work with no distractions. Then when I get to the blog posts, podcasts, Facebook, Twitter, it’s during the part of the day where I’m giving one part of my brain something to play with while the other part works on something in the background. This isn’t just true in the realm of productivity. If I want a product launch, workshop, or even something as simple as the maturation of an idea to go faster, and produce better results, eliminating every other task my brain is working on helps dramatically. Sometimes for days, I won’t think of anything else but the videos I’m creating or the guide I’m writing. Works wonders.

    • ginidietrich

      @Tinu What time do you normally start and how long do you go without distractions? I am my most productive from 6-9 every morning. I almost want to get up an hour earlier to have one more of uninterrupted time. Almost.

  • This is the only way I can survive. I have 1 block of 3 hrs per day to get my work done. Anything more than that is a bonus. I HAVE to be super organized even if it goes against my nature.

    • ginidietrich

      @Ameena Falchetto So you work steadily for three full hours?

      • @ginidietrich Probably 2.5hrs if I am honest. I don’t have a choice when my time is controlled by a half-pint dictator! (also have 3 sites so it’s not like I have time to waste) ….

  • ginidietrich

    @wagnerwrites Mmmm…peanut butter

    • StaceyHood

      @ginidietrich @wagnerwrites Who’s got peanut butter? #want

  • Lately, that’s the ONLY way I get a task completed. I block out everything – another reason I’ve been MIA from the Twitter stream for long periods of time. It’s go time! Work to be done…when I have everything open, I’m like a cat chasing a light (have you seen Puss in Boots yet??) and lose track of where and who I am. So, my solution is your solution – block out time and get to work. Great results from that!

    • ginidietrich

      @EricaAllison BIG results from that!

    • @EricaAllison Me too!

  • terence.stephens

    one of the most useful tips I’ve ever gotten out of a book was scheduling my email time and then not touching the inbox until planned on times throughout the day.

    • ginidietrich

      @terence.stephens It works so well, doesn’t it?

  • troycostlow

    @ginidietrich I like that post a lot – have you ever tried the pomodoro technique for time management?

    • ginidietrich

      @troycostlow I’ve tried every time management tool out there. I keep going back to post-it notes.

  • JoelleTweeted

    But what if your job IS social media?

    • ginidietrich

      Do you not have things you need to do without interruption? Writing content? Developing campaigns?

  • AGREED! This is such a good mantra for your work day and you won’t believe how much work you actually get done. I’m going to pass this around to my staff 😉

    • ginidietrich

      @MichaelBesson I hope my staff listens too!

  • Oh man! An assignment??? Gini, you’re killing me!

    Of course, I totally see your point though. Distractions can be productivity killers.

    Last week at BlogWorld I asked CC Chapman about time management and he said he uses Freedom. A Mac-based application that shuts down the internet for an amount of time you set. You cannot log on to do any of that other stuff. Of course, the bad thing is you can turn off your computer and restart it to disable. That kind of stinks.

    • ginidietrich

      @WordsDoneWrite Wait. You have to shut down your computer in order to disable it? That would drive me nuts.

  • wordsdonewrite

    Try it, folks! RT @ginidietrich I’m willing to bet big money if U follow my theory, you’ll be more productive

  • Love timers. I recommend using them all the time. I think that we often underestimate how long it takes to REALLY get something done (or at least I do). Using a timer helps me better understand how long something takes (i.e. writing a blog post) or limit my time (i.e. social media) so I don’t let it take up too much of my day.

    And yes, when it’s time to write, strategize or do other work, I’ve got to shut other things down. Email might be the only thing I keep open because I often have to reference information from there.

    Great tips here. Simple, sound advice, but often hard for us to do since we’re so darn programmed and addicted to multi-tasking and being connected!

    • ginidietrich

      @lauraclick I’ve actually found that if I answer email only three or four times a day, it decreases in amount. It eliminates the back and forth, which is WONDERFUL!

  • moni_gi

    that;s the only thing that works for me!

    • ginidietrich

      @moni_gi I can’t imagine anything works better. Great minds…

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  • Me: “Hello, my name is John”
    All: “Hello John”
    Me: “It’s been 1 hour since my last usage of the Words With Friends app!”
    All: “Good job John!”

    I read this post yesterday and it made me think how many times I stop work and play Words With Friends (it’s always beeping at me…begging me, taunting me, to post a new word).

    So, I decided to put my iPhone in Airplane Mode even though I was at my desk and nowhere near an airport.

    I forgot how much work can actually get done in one hour!

    New rule for me : 1pm to 2pm is “Airplane Mode Time”. During this hour, please leave me alone, I’m actually getting shit done.

    Thanks for this post Gini!

    • ginidietrich

      @JohnnyP Note to self: Invite John to play WWF at 1:00 tomorrow.

  • AlbanyInsurance

    I cannot write with email up. I’m really bad at getting phone calls done with email up. There is no chance paperwork is getting done with email up…

    Solution: Turn EMAIL OFF!

    So simple but yet so hard.

    Thank you!

    Ryan H.

    • ginidietrich

      @AlbanyInsurance TURN EMAIL OFF! Amen!

  • ginidietrich

    @TheSalesLion You ARE a lazy bum.

    • TheSalesLion

      @ginidietrich Will you rub my feet then?

      • laineyd7

        Haha! You two….. @TheSalesLion @ginidietrich

        • TheSalesLion

          @laineyd7 @ginidietrich Seriously Elaine, Gini dreams about rubbing my feet sometimes. It’s kinda weird, but I’ve come to accept it now. 🙂

        • ginidietrich

          @laineyd7 Please don’t encourage him. @TheSalesLion

      • ginidietrich

        @TheSalesLion Ummmm…no.

  • Amy_Donohue

    @DavidBurch Love it! And I LOVE peanut butter!

  • Hey Gini, I kept this one in my Triberr stream cause I didn’t have the time to read it and would not approve it cause I didn’t want to lose it… I kinda felt it was something awesome! Finally listened to my guts and definitely was right.

    I am so multitasking/ADHD that it isn’t healthy, but recently I had a week of revelation, well it actually only lasted about 3 days when I actually managed to put all this under control and do exactly what you are talking about here. I was like 500% more productive!!! So I definitely have to try this again!!!

    • ginidietrich

      @Brankica Whew. You had me holding my breath there for a second! Just do it one hour a day. The feeling of accomplishing so much is addictive.

      • @ginidietrich I was kinda trying to be forgive for not tweeting it yet ;)But yeah, I definitely need to start doing this an hour a day, I would do so much more and better! Thanks for the reminder, I can always count on your to “wake me up”

  • NEMultimedia

    Ohmyword. I so needed this! RT @LiveUrLove Getting More Done: My Secret via @ginidietrich

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  • Implementing this as we speak :))

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