5 Tips for Getting Back on Task

5 Tips for Getting Back on Task

Every day, there are dozens of tasks that are calling your name, both at work and at home. With life being so busy it’s easy to lose focus on the big picture.

How many times have you gone to bed wondering what you actually accomplished that day? Or have you ever felt like your day was somehow wasted? I have and I bet you have too.

To avoid these feelings, you can try these methods to get yourself back on track.

Confucius Says…

There’s a famous quote about focus by the great philosopher Confucius: “If you chase two rabbits, you catch none.” True, there might be people who are able to multitask and do it relatively well; but more often than not, people who split their attention between two different tasks do so with more difficulty and without completing both tasks well.

Here Are 5 Ways to Regain Your Focus and Get Back on Task:

  1. Eliminate the distractions. Get rid of the barriers that are causing you to avoid getting things done; it’s that simple! Forget about checking email every five minutes; those emails will still be there when you complete your task. Make a list of distractions and eliminate them!

• Turn off the phone and let the voice mail take over.

• Close the door and  blinds in your office.

• Turn on music that is conducive to working. If you find yourself singing more than working find another station.

  1. Prioritize your work. Rather than working on projects simultaneously, take one project at a time, focus on it, and worry about all the other projects later. Ultimately, you’ll get a lot more done and you’ll finish it more quickly and of better quality.

• Find a way to prioritize that works best for you. Choose either the project that has the earliest deadline or the one with the least tasks so you can finish it quickly and get it out of the way.

  1. Set boundaries. There are many nice and respectful ways to tell people to back off. If you’re finding yourself in a time crunch and can’t seem to get away from others, consider letting them know that you need time to finish some important tasks. There are a lot of different ways to do it just make sure you do! A great article I read recently gives great suggestions on how to say NO politely in any situation.  

• Set times that you’ll accept phone calls and even visitors. Tell them to contact you by email and then set a regular time to check your email. I like to check mine twice a day.

• Set business hours during which people can expect you to return their calls or emails. You are not an emergency room doctor (unless of course you are ☺). So people should not expect you to answer them 24/7. Stick to your business hours!

  1. Set limitations on internet access. The internet is wonderful but it can be a huge time waster, especially if you work at a computer all day long. How many times have you gone to Facebook to respond to something and the next thing you know 30 minutes have passed with you browsing your news feed? Yeah, me too! But you can regain your focus with some self-imposed rules.

• First, close all those windows you’re not using. I know this is a hard one because I currently have 10 windows open as I type this. But never the less it’s for our own good. Avoid Facebook and Twitter, quit searching on Pinterest, and leave Instagram alone!

• Establish certain times each day to use these fun things and just focus on what you have to do. You’ll find yourself accomplishing more! And you will be motivated by having something to look forward to after your tasks are completed.

  1. Have confidence in your abilities. This may seem like a really small thing when it comes to focusing and getting back on task, but believing that you can get everything done that you set out to do puts you in a positive frame of mind and you’ll be less distracted with stress and worry.

• Have confidence that you can complete each task with ease and believe in your ability to deliver. If you’ll just have the confidence, you’re sure to have the focus!

So don’t waste time bemoaning your wasted time, instead resolve to regain your focus and get back on task. It’s up to you to take action and learn how to focus your thoughts. If you’ve got to get stuff done then follow these steps so you can put yourself and your goals first!

My Secret Productivity Weapon: Datexx Simple Timer Cube

My Secret Productivity Weapon: Datexx Simple Timer Cube

As I sit here writing this right now, I am using my new favorite secret weapon tool to staying focused and on task. What is it you may say? Well it is something that I found earlier this month and has been so helpful that I bought another one.

A Little Background:

With all of the things that I have to do running two businesses,  blogging, raising my kids and other obligations I have a lot to stay on top of and focus on at any one time. I use to be a multitasker but found that was not very helpful and I was not very productive. My brain was getting pulled in too many directions.

So I went looking for something that would help me stay focused on the project at hand. I have already been using the pomodoro technique with my phone as the timer, but found using my phone and apps to sometimes be a bit too cumbersome and not quirky enough for me. So while browsing Etsy one day I came across a great vintage timer that would be perfect to help me stay on task. The price was a little high so I headed over to Amazon to see if they had the same timer at a better price and to see what other type of quirky looking timers they might have.

Datexx: Better Than A Kitchen Timer

That’s when I saw it. The Datexx Simple Timer Cube. The concept of it was just awesome and it came in many different colors. But that wasn’t the most awesome thing about it. Each colored timer had a different amount of time on it. So you weren’t stuck with just the usual 30 or 60 minutes. I immediately ordered one that had 5,10,20 and 30 minutes. It was purple. It took about 2 days to get it. I took it out and gave it a try. It didn’t come with batteries, but only needs two triple A’s.

I didn’t even have to read the instructions. I turned it on and set it to the time period that I wanted and got to doing my task. When the time was up it gave a loud succession of beeps and then I turned it to the zero and that was that. So simple!

I thought this would be great for kids and helping them to focus when it is reading time or clean up time.  The possibilities are endless when it comes to these cubes.

Since I liked the first one I bought so much I purchased another one, this time in white, that has 5, 15, 30 and 60 minutes. Having one with a hour on it is great because I can set longer periods of focus time. I have been knocking my to do list out like a champ!

So if you are having trouble with focus and staying on task or tackling that to do list I would highly recommend that you get this little timer. The cost is excellent too! Between these cubes and my Baroque Radio Pandora station I am really getting things done.

Recap of What I Liked About the Datexx:

  • The cube shape of the timer
  • The ease of use
  • The different time increments
  • The buzzer
  • No annoying tick

Who Is The Datexx Good For:

  • Kids
  • Adults
  • People needing to focus on a task

 

I have a little video showing how to use it below. Check it out.

 

Getting REAL About Information Overload

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The other day I was reading a post by Carrie Greene called Are Your Gaps Full?. This post really hit home for me because I am right in the middle of trying to reposition my business endeavors and take more online courses and other things. I have to admit I am getting a little bit overwhelmed.

But this article reminded me to step back and really look at what I am trying to do and cut out things that I really don’t need to do to get to where I want to go.

I think we are all bombarded with so many webinars, seminars and ebooks to boost our business that we don’t know where to start. I know I get “paralysis by analysis” too. If we truly want to succeed we need to choose to do those things that help us toward our goals and that are necessary and leave the rest alone. Like Carrie says there is always more to learn and do.

How will you cut down on all of the information out there now? What will you choose to do and not to do? Now is the time to take inventory of your business to do list. Just remember is you have a lot of things that you know but never have time to use then you have nothing.

Until next time…

 

Image credit: simply / 123RF Stock Photo