by Alycia Edgar | Featured Contributor
Are you getting distracted each time you sit at your desk to get stuff done? Are you jittery, making endless cups of coffee, eating snacks, getting social on social media? The distractions will always be there so how can we make ourselves more focused to feed our productivity ego?
Plan your day
First thing in the morning or the night before, plan exactly what you must you get done today. Write it out, get it out of your head. If you plan your day the night before you will often not only sleep better but work on solutions while you sleep!
Keep the to-dos to a minimum
3 to 5 items on your to do list is enough, 15 items on your to do list is too many! Often when we do the brain dump getting stuff out of our head we list 15 or so items to get done the next day. Awesome, you think I’ll smash through those. Have you ever achieved all of those to-dos? Or have you transferred them to another day? Doesn’t do much for your productivity ego does it? Stick to 3 – 5 per day, spread the 15 to do’s over your entire work week.
Still convinced you are a productivity ninja and can accomplish the 10 to-do’s today?
I challenge you to think seriously about how long it would take to complete each task and write the time beside each task. Often we underestimate the time taken to complete a task so add in a 10-20% buffer unless you’re absolutely sure. Add up all the time. Is it achievable? If not reduce your to-dos for today.
Write your to do’s using verbs.
All tasks require action of some kind and when we write them down we should ensure they stipulate the action required. If for example you have “website” as a to-do, when in fact you have to “rewrite the copy for your About page on website” you are making your brain think too hard. Often your brain will see that to-do “website” and think “oh what did I have to do to the website again? This is a total waste of brain power. Make it easy on yourself. Be descriptive with verbs for your tasks.
If your verbs aren’t cutting it and leaving you overwhelmed, chunk it down.
Just like the example above if your verb to-do for the “website” task turned into “write copy for website” you probably went and made yourself a coffee as soon as you saw it. It’s overwhelming and you probably feel exhausted just thinking about it! Break it down, and in this case into each of the pages, about page, services page, products page etc. Chunking down a task makes it easier to make a start and often that’s all the motivation you need.
Make a to-do later list (aka Master to-do list)
Not all tasks need to be done straight away but need to be done within a certain timeframe. Create a Master to-do list, put those items in there. Just putting those items on a separate list can help reduce anxiety and keep track of all those items to do later. Refer to this list when you create your daily to do list to see what needs to be scheduled in to be completed.
And if none of this is working at all change your location. Simply changing your environment can make a huge difference to your focus. Outside, your dining table, a cafe no matter where, as long as it fuels inspiration for you to get stuff done.
Remember the first battle is starting, from then its all downhill to your destination. Make sure you can get to the start line by implementing the ideas above.
Alycia Edgar – Leading expert in creating systems for profitable business from Business Performance HQ – Torquay, VIC, Australia
A trained accountant, yes, but also much more. Alycia Edgar does not fit the picture painted above; instead she is a latte-sipping, beach-loving business owner who happens to be great at numbers and systems.
Alycia is a leading expert in creating systems for profitable business growth for her clients. Nothing makes her happier than looking at your business numbers and helping you to understand what the numbers are saying, implementing systems to make your business more productive, or processes to make everything happen quicker and smoother.
Alycia is passionate about the idea that the right systems are the key to driving business growth.
She can share clear strategies that can help business owners become more productive and profitable immediately.
Alycia works with business owners to achieve this result through one-on-one mentoring and consulting on how to roll out innovative systems, procedures and processes. And will be launching her revamped Bizfficiency course later in the year.