Here’s an idea that helps get my brain into gear: Just 30 minutes.

In 30 minutes you can:

  • Take the next small step on your big projects.
  • Write a short blog post.
  • Take photos highlighting your newest project and post them online.
  • Go for a brisk walk or do a short workout at home.

By setting 30 minute chunks, I encourage myself to focus closely on one thing, while giving myself permission to goof off shortly after. Since getting started is often the biggest challenge, scheduling a 30 minute project session can sometimes be the only thing between me and frittering away my evenings on Youtube. As with many people, once I’ve rolling on one of my larger projects, I’ll just keep going even after my 30 minutes is up.

30 minutes is also a short enough period of time that you can fit it in almost every day. I currently use my giant calendar to keep myself on track, but I’ve also used other productivity reminders such as HabitRPG (fun; may have to try again). I try to schedule a different activity or two per day with the expectation that each will get a 30 minute slot (minimum). If something gets in the way of your originally chosen task, have a back up. If you’re like me, you have a variety of things you’d like to do and projects you want to complete.

If you finish up early, great! You can move onto the next step, start on another task, or get an extra 10 minutes of Minecraft in. If the current step/task is too large for 30 minutes, save it for the weekend or plan a special evening for it. And don’t forget to reward yourself for a job well done.

Do you schedule your projects in time chunks? How long to do you like to give yourself to jump start your brain?

Image via Simon Law under CC Attribution-Sharealike 2.0.