Do you have a habit of allowing everything to automatically flow onto your master to do list?
Try a new habit: decide whether something deserves a spot on your list or not. Our default is “yes.”
AND your “master” list is NOT the list you work from each day. If you do, you’re going to get overwhelmed. Keep that hidden. Peel of 2-3 things that are your main focus, and have a list of a few more in case you get those done; but only tell yourself you want to get those 2-3 projects moving forward.
Keep track of interruptions. Your day is never 100% your own, so it “counts” to give yourself credit for meeting others’ needs. Just keep track to be sure you’re focused on your own work as well.
Technology splits our attention. You know that, but what to do about it?
Use strategies to stay focused and not allow your own mind to take you off track. (List, timers, sandwiching tasks, shutting off technology for short, quiet periods of time or having an app do it for you.)
Ideally, you`ll work on tasks when your energy for that task type is best. Sometimes, life is too busy and you really cannot afford to stick to this way. If you try, you`re increasing your own stress. Let it go. Come back to this method when your life calms down and you can organize your days in this way.
You cannot control whether your situation will cause chaos in your days: physical issues, caregiver responsibilities, mental health differences, the presence of children/puppy, etc.
But how you react is key. Do you get upset and can’t calm down for awhile? Lost productivity.
Do you have ways to shake it off and get back on track so you don’t lose as much productivity?
How quickly – or how – do you get back on track?
What works for you to circle back? A few suggestions:
- create a mini checklist (post it note size) before you start and keep track of progress as you work so you know exactly where you are at all times;
- take a walk around and clear your head;
- write a letter to yourself about whatever upset you; get it out of your system for now and if you need to do something, do it later, after your work is done;
- go hide somewhere in the office (or if you work from home, go to a local coffeehouse);
- play instrumental music or white noise apps which can refocus you;
- find ways to make your progress and priorities visible. Many people use technology to capture tasks, but print out today’s list for focus.
The Blog Series:
Sue@CoachSueWest.com or 603.765.9267
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