Maintaining Productivity in the Midst of Interruptions

Aaron Potts over at Today is That Day posted about an interesting topic being used for a group blogging project, “The Ultimate Guide to Productivity, What’s Your Secret?” The project was originated by Ben at the Instigator Blog. This gave me pause as I thought about my own productivity strengths and weaknesses.

In my business as a gallery owner I wear many hats during any given day, with all the myriad demands of managing the business, working with clients, working with our artists, producing our ads and promotional materials, etc. In addition to those tasks, I paint large florals and create custom jewelry.

While I admire people who can schedule their time precisely and make that kind of system work efficiently, my own life is composed primarily of interruptions. In fact, even my interruptions get interrupted!

So if I tackle a large project with tight deadlines, this is a major productivity challenge. Recently when I was working on a book project with a publisher in London, I had some extreme pressure in that regard. I produced nearly 50 paintings and all of the text required in a very short span of time.

I used my main strengths, the ability to focus intensely, the ability to create a strong flow in my work, and relentless effort applied to the project. In order not to be interrupted, I often was at the gallery working at my easel in the wee hours of the morning when I could produce high quality paintings in a concentrated manner.

I also reduced the demands on my time from other facets of my life as much as possible, resigning from some community groups and letting my massive gardens run amok.

However, this has not yet stated my single most important secret underlying all of these approaches to productivity. That is to maintain my enthusiasm for the project. If I keep my enthusiasm high, all the rest tends to fall into place even if I am one weary person by the end of it all.

If you would like to interrupt whatever you are doing right now and share your own secrets about being productive, consider yourself tagged! Place a link to Ben and myself, and any of the other participants you wish to include in your article and we will be delighted to see what you have to say!

 

 

Copyright © Lexi Sundell 2007. All Rights Reserved.

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13 thoughts on “Maintaining Productivity in the Midst of Interruptions

  1. Today is that Day

    Lexi,

    I could not agree with you more about maintaining your enthusiasm for any given project. Productivity practices are worth doing on a frequent basis, but when all is said and done, it is your burning desire to do whatever you are doing that will power through any obstacles!

    Great stuff, Lexi – thanks for sharing!

    – Aaron

  2. Dawud Miracle

    I like the honesty of your post. Thanks. I’ve struggled with productivity from time to time and found that I needed to be more structured with my time.

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  4. Su

    Very well expressed – I have experienced similar phases in my life. Energy is there, in yourself, if you need it…To structure and to guide it is the main art I think

  5. Lexi Sundell Post author

    Aaron,
    Thanks for your take on this matter. It can sure be extremely difficult to be productive at a task that feels meaningless, sheesh!

    Dawud,
    Simple self created chaos can be solved by being more structured with one’s time.

    What I often find happening is that my priorities dictate flexibility in how I use my time. If a client walks in the door and wants to discuss art for their home, that instantly has to be my top priority, no matter what else I am doing.

    Then if I need to frame their selection or provide other services, sometimes with a tight deadline, that also has to take its place in my schedule. If I do not have happy customers, I do not have a business. Simple as that.

    So I cannot sit down with a piece of paper and diagram my schedule for the week with much expectation that is what will really happen. This can be quite challenging at times.

    Su,
    That is a really nice way of putting it. I would go so far as to say that to structure and guide the energy in ourselves is the only art, it just gets applied in a myriad of forms.

    Lexi

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  8. Tucker Orta

    I believe this one applies “Unless each man prodiuses more than he receives, increases his output, there will be less for him than all the others”, doesn’t it?

  9. Lexi Sundell Post author

    Tucker,
    I am not sure I agree. That actually sounds like an odd variation of the scarcity point of view in life.

    I would say instead that if you allow energy to flow through you in a productive manner in alignment with your soul purpose, you will receive whatever you need. This does not take away from anyone else and does not invite comparisons with what anyone else is receiving.

    It is not a matter of slicing up a pie amongst everyone, but a matter of working with energy cleanly and effectively while maintaining focus.

    If I completely missed your point, please clarify.

    Lexi

  10. Jonas Wert

    This one makes sense “One’s first step in wisdom is to question everything – and one’s last is to come to terms with everything.”

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