I have asked for improvisation advice before but this question is more general and generic.

I am working a number of months overseas so I use DVD piano instruction quite a bit. Is it advisable to go from blues rifts to jazz improvisation to Fake book practice as you go through these courses or should one stay with one genre until you are at least somewhat proficient in one area? I enjoy learning different techniques and forms but notice my hands are always way behind my understanding of the material and techniques. Does anyone have any advice on learning to play material that takes time but still staying motivated and interested?

I really do want to learn to improvise but it is such a lengthy process that I find myself going back to my Fakebook or known pieces to keep motivated. I have read on PianoWorld that one needs to stay with one area but does that mean not doing anything else during the process?