We’ve all been there. We have a list as long as the length of a full marathon with items, tasks, important things that need to be handled because that project deadline at school, work, or even at home if you are your own boss, is inching its way closer and faster than you can say HELP! Add to that the fact that life DOES happen and things you didn’t anticipate or see coming, happen! The dog gets sick, the nanny calls you the night before to tell you she’ll be late, your better half announces that they’ve got another business trip to the West Coast. Well hopefully these things won’t completely derail your pending day, week or month. But you still crave to get everything off of your To-Do list and for once feel accomplished or move on to the next step.
Assuming that you already have your project or goal well-defined and planned out with all the required steps and tasks that are needed to complete it, here are 7 tips or insights I learned from reading Eat That Frog to help you stay focused on those steps and tasks so you can cross them off and feel ready to move on to the next set of tasks
- Start your day before everyone else.
As hard as that sounds to do and I’m just as guilty as the next girl that I love hitting snooze. Whenever I jump out of bed 2-3 hours before the rest of the house wakes up, I’m able to spend time with God in those quiet and still moments. I can pray, read and meditate on the Daily Mass readings without feeling rushed or having anyone else ask me for anything. It really helps set your day. You can be armed in peace when LIFE and the world start to wake up around you. This is also when I ask God to help me as I offer my work, joys, and sufferings of this day back to Him. I ask for His will to be in my goals, projects, tasks and each step. This is just one way I workout my spiritual life.
- Look at your To-Do or Task List and concentrate on the most important one.
As you take a look at your list for each day add a metric value for each item. You can use 1, 2, 3 or A, B, C, with 1 and A being equal to MOST Important, cannot be delegated, the world might stop, your life or someone else’s depend on this getting done, or you won’t be able to sleep at night if you didn’t handle it. I know this sounds dramatic & extreme but it really isn’t. If your end goal/project is to get a new job by the end of the year and part of your to do list is to update your resumé and write cover letters so you can move on to next step to submit them. Well true the world may not stop if your resumé hasn’t been updated with your most current experience by tomorrow morning, etc. however if you’re unhappy with your current position and you are stressed out daily, can’t take you commute, that’s one additional day that you’ve have lived without a step closer to your goal. I know what you’re thinking…I was one of the world’s biggest procrastinators when I was younger…I think I’ve passed it down to my kids. But you CAN work towards your goals each day you are here on this planet.
- Plan out your day the night before.
It’s worth the 10 minutes it takes to look at your to do list or even create it. For every minute you use planning, you are saving yourself 10 minutes. When you do the math that’s about 100 extra minutes that you saved in wasted time and effort throughout your day. All you need is a pen and a notepad.
- Say NO to Screens.
Refuse and resist the urge to check your email, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram…whatever social media. This is a HUGE time thief. I don’t need to lecture you on this. You tell your kids all the time. Put the tablet or smartphone down and get your action step done!
- 25/5 x 2 = 1 Hour!
I like to set a timer to keep my focus. I like the idea of working for 25 minutes continuous without interruptions and then take a 5 minute break to get up and stretch, walk around, dance. If you do this 2x you have just found 50 minutes of productivity. If you work a full day, that’s almost 7 hours of REAL PRODUCTIVITY!
- Move it
Speaking of dancing. Before you get started on any thing. M-O-V-E! Dance, run, jump! Get your heart rate up and active BEFORE trying to be productive with your day! Not only will you be able to concentrate and focus but you will also feel wonderful. I also try to workout in the morning at least 5 times per week, this too is when I rev up my body for the day that is starting. Ladies…start your engines!
- CLEAN FREAK.
How is your desk area looking? Can you find and access all that you need? Resolved RIGHT NOW to make a clean organized clutter free zone of your work space. For years I had clutter and piles of paper littering my keyboard real estate and not only did it drive me crazy but it took my focus. If your desk is covered with unopened mail, post its, scratch paper, and broken pens do yourself a big favor and declutter it NOW!
How are you staying focused on your work at home? What are some tips you rely on daily?