In her book The Happiness Project, Gretchen Rubin talked about how she tried to make better use of her time to increase efficiency. She did that by changing the way she thought about productive time. For example, while previously she considered fifteen minutes to be too short a period in which to get anything done, she started to push herself to squeeze in an extra fifteen minutes somewhere during the day, such as between two appointments or at the end of the workday.

Of course, I do not agree we should cramp tasks and activities into every minute of our time. But it is true that during the day, short spells of time do get wasted, either because of a lack of planning or because of the belief that these small bits of time are too short for doing something worthwhile. But as Rubin suggests, you can use the time for drafting a blog post, making notes on some research, or answering some emails. Over a long period of time, insignificant fifteen-minute spells add up, considerable amounts of time is saved, and a number of small things are done. And that is no small achievement at all.

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