Staying Focused — 6 Tips for Working Through Your Daily “To Do’s”


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6 Tips to Stay Focused on the Daily "To Do's"Most of us have a list of tasks to complete each day.  And, usually there’s at least a few of those tasks that we don’t really want to do.  Or, maybe, it’s “one of those days” and we’re not motivated to do a single thing on that list… even the tasks that we like.

We struggle to get them done…. we move slow, we lose our focus, we’re easily distracted.  How do we push our way through the not so fun tasks?  How do we push through those days where we have absolutely no motivation?

I’ve pulled together a list of tips that help me stay focused and keeps me moving forward as I work my way through the ‘ole To Do List.  Hopefully, you’ll find several that will help you!

Set a specific amount of time to work on each task.*  Set a specific amount of time to work on each task.  This really helps me when I’ve got to address that task that I just DO NOT want to do, but must.  I set the timer and work without stopping for 30 minutes.  I’ll then move to another task on the list that I enjoy, then go back to that one I don’t want to do for another 30 minutes.  My brain has an easier time staying focused on something I don’t like when I break in down into shorter time segments.

*  Prioritize the tasks that need to be completed.  For most of us, the first hour is when we are the most productive.  Prioritize the tasks on your list to take the most advantage of that first hour.  Want to power through one of those tasks you don’t like so much?  Get it done and over with in that first hour!

Choose music to play while you're working that will get the adrenaline flowing*  Choose music to play while you’re working that will get the adrenaline flowing.  If you work better when all is quiet around you, this item won’t be helpful.  But, if you’re like me and love to have the tunes playing, it work great!  I’m a music lover and having music playing while I’m working really helps.  Now, if I’m writing or doing a similar task that takes some thought, I like slower and softer music.  However, when I’m editing photos for my online stores, I really get those up beat louder songs going and sing along while I work.

Make time for breaks*  Make time for breaks.  I know sometimes there is so much to do that it seems there is no way you have time to take breaks.  But, trust me, you need those breaks!  Working too many hours without a break makes you tire faster and makes your muscle stiff.  Every 60-90 minutes get up and take a quick walk around the house, refill your coffee cup, do a 10 minute workout, or dance to your favorite song.  Whatever works for you… get up from your desk and do it!

*  Eliminate distractions.  Are you easily distracted?  Identify what distracts you the most and shut it down before it has a chance to distract you.  When working at the computer are you easily distracted by email or Facebook?  Don’t open either one until you’ve finished your tasks. When working around the house can something on TV catch your eye and then all of sudden an hour has gone by and nothing has been completed except that show your were watching?  If this happen to you, don’t tun on the TV until after the work is done.  Eliminate the possibility of distractions before they even pop up.

Have a plan and get organized*  Have a plan and get organized.  This should probably be the first item on the list instead of the last.  For work related tasks, most of the time I will put this together at the end of my work day.  I can look at what I accomplished that day and what needs to be tackled next. This way I feel good about what was completed and have a more positive outlook as I address what needs to happen the next day. When morning does come and I’m ready to sit down and work, I know exactly what to tackle first and can get straight to it.

I’d love to hear what works for you to get you moving and powering through that big ‘ole list of tasks!  Leave a note in the comments and let us know.

~ Melanie