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This is Week 15 of a Year of Living Productively

This week I tested whether taking a vacation could improve my productivity. I’ve actually been testing it for the past two weeks. Scroll to the bottom of this post to see my plans for this test.

How Taking a Vacation Saved My Sanity This Week

  • Focused my efforts before leaving. Getting ready to go on vacation made decisions about what to do so easy. I had a wonderful closed list of tasks to work with and I finished them all.
  • Restored my motivation. While on vacation, I had plenty of time to read and think about my goals for the summer and next school year. I have returned as a woman on a mission with a lot more energy to boot.
  • Gave me time to focus on what matters most. The time with my family gave me a better perspective on the tasks I face each week. So much of what I worry about just doesn’t matter.

How Taking a Vacation Made Me Crazy This Week

  • Couldn’t avoid everything. Being a blogger and a mother of six means you can never really “go dark.” I had to do some work while I was gone, but thankfully it was minimal.

Did Taking a Vacation Help Me Get More Done?

Yes! And I think I will realize the benefits of it for several weeks. One thing I did that made this an excellent vacation was plan nothing for the day after I returned. I was able to clear email, handle a few urgent tasks, do laundry, grocery shop, and more.


Vacations are still saving my sanity. I usually take a vacation with my whole family once a year and with my husband, too. Even more importantly, I take a vacation every Sunday now. The break motivates me so much for the upcoming week.

The Productivity Approach I’ll Be Using for Week 16

David Seah

This week I’ll be testing David Seah’s 7:15 AM Ritual. Every morning at 7:15 AM, David chats with a friend or two online and commits to a task he wants to jumpstart for 15 minutes. When the 15 minutes are up, he reports his progress and experience. I considered doing an online chat with a friend who is in a different time zone. We agreed that making an email commitment to our 15-minute task and then reporting back will work better for us. We’re afraid that a chat would become just that!

The concept. David’s ritual leverages the power of accountability, timed work, and routine. I’ve tested the power of timed work and routine and find both to be invaluable. I haven’t yet tested accountability, though I would argue that this blog series is all about it! While most people are willing to drop their commitments to themselves, few are comfortable with dropping the ball when a commitment has been made to someone else. I’m willing to bet that accountability doesn’t require face time.

If you’d like to join me this week, here’s what you do. Read David’s article. Recruit a friend who is willing to do the ritual with you. Decide when and how you will touch base each day.   Daily commit to a task that you want or need to do; spend 15 minutes doing it; then report back to your accountability partner.

Click here to see how my week of David Seah’s ritual went.

If you’ve tried taking a vacation to increase your productivity, please vote in the poll below.

Here are the links to the productivity hacks I’ve tried so far:

A Year of Living Productively

Week 1: Paper To-Do List

Week 2: Covey’s Quadrants

Week 3: Routines

Week 4: Paper Planner

Week 5: SMEMA

Week 6: Guilt Hour

Week 7: Envision Ideal Day

Week 8: Do it Tomorrow

Week 9: Pomodoro

Week 10: Time Warrior

Week 11: Scheduling

Week 12: The Repeat Test

Week 13: Personal Kanban

Week 14: Eat That Frog