Journal: 3/4/14

Google Calendar

More breaks!

Yesterday was the first day in months that I was able to work a full day AND get all of my chores done! Hurray! I’m going to assume yesterday wasn’t a fluke (positive thinking!) and attribute it to two changes that I’ve made recently:

  • Adding healthy simple sugars back into my diet
  • Adding more frequent breaks to my schedule

A couple months ago I started the GAPS diet recommended by my Fibromyalgia specialist. I’ll go into more detail another day, but basically the beginning stages of GAPS eliminated all simple sugars and worsened my fatigue (although other issues improved). After much frustration, I decided to add back into my diet the simple sugars that are allowed at a later stage (some organic fruits and organic, raw honey). It’s been two weeks, my energy levels are getting better, and I’ve been able to get more done. Yay!

My most recent productive day, with the exception of yesterday, was the direct result of experimenting with taking more frequent breaks during my workday. Due to various colds and flus and increased fatigue the last several months, I’ve had half my usual energy or less available for both running LuvCherie Jewelry and taking care of life chores, errands, etc. Before, I would push to make it as far through my schedule as I could and then be out of commission for the next day or two. Or, I would work as long as my energy lasted and usually be sapped by lunchtime. Either way I was spending way more time energyless and stuck on the couch watching Netflix than was good for me or my business.

When it became clear that my energy decline might stick around a while, I decided to try stopping for a 5-10 minute break after every couple of completed tasks or every hour or so worked. I wanted to see if I could take my half-day of energy, spread it out over more of the workday, and be able to do it again the next day. The result was my longest day worked up until yesterday. Clearly it worked, but it wasn’t a method that I could easily lay out on my schedule.

Immediately after that success I got sick with my most recent cold. While I was recovering, I read an article recommending the 50/10 rule. This new rule of taking a 10 minute break for every 50 minutes worked was perfectly in line with what I was trying to do and gave me nicely defined time frames. So, on Sunday when I was finally over my cold, I sat down with my Google calendar, shuffled everything around, and added 4 more breaks to my day. I faithfully followed my schedule on Monday and was able to do a full day’s work and chores!

Yesterday’s success is hopefully just the first of many more super-productive days to come. I had some insomnia last night, so I didn’t get off to the best start today; however, I do expect another full, productive day tomorrow as long as I eat my fruit and stick to my scheduled breaks.

–Amy 🙂

How do you manage your energy levels and/or fatigue? Are there any specific tools, rules, etc. that you use? I’d really love to know, so please share in the comments below. 😀



  1. Pamela Banis says:

    I’m so glad you are sharing!
    I use a whiteboard to keep track of things. They are ranked according to importance, and can be shuffled if needed. I never thought about scheduling time for mini breaks, so the suggestion of taking 10 min out of an hour is a good one! Those 10 min are perfect for reading magazines.
    I have to keep track of outings…. shopping for supplies, attending meetings, friends, etc.. I try to only do those 1X per week, I made the awful mistake of doing more and spent two weeks unable to create.
    I do have a mealtimes set aside, I have to, I have swallowing issues so I need to have someone with me while eating. I have a very supportive husband, who comes home from work to have lunch. Self-employment for us has its benefits. I’ll be going back to my dietician to work on a dietary plan.
    One thing at a time.

  2. Amy
    Amy says:


    It sounds like you’ve got a system that works for you, which is awesome. I’m always tweaking and improving mine. It’s not quite there yet, but this latest change definitely got me closer.

    What a guy you have! Supportive husbands are very helpful in our situation. I am super grateful for my supportive husband (and his understanding boss). 🙂

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