When studying a variety of subjects or working on a variety of projects, it is more difficult to do similar things right after each other than dissimilar things. Huh? For example, don’t study English then your foreign language then math then science. Instead, study English, then math, then the foreign language, then science. Don’t work on a report, then a presentation, then the budget, then taxes. Reorganize them so that the sequence goes: words, numbers, words, numbers so that you maximize the differences between topics each time you move to the next one.

I often organize my work into a stack such that I counterbalance words and numbers, computer and paper, reading and phone. Then I set a countdown timer for ten minutes and work my way through the stack, forcing myself to spend at least at least ten minutes working on the unpleasant tasks. Importantly, the time doesn’t have an alarm so that if I am enjoying the work, I am not distracted when time runs out and can keep working.

Author's Bio: 

Tad Waddington says he achieved literacy while getting his MA from the University of Chicago’s Divinity School where he focused on the history of Chinese religions. He achieved numeracy while getting his PhD from the University of Chicago in measurement, evaluation and statistical analysis. He achieved efficacy as Director of Performance Measurement for Accenture. He is currently seeking to achieve a legacy with such books as Return on Learning and Lasting Contribution.