Do you ever walk into a room with the intention to sit down and get something done, only to be met with eight thousand distractions? It’s truly amazing how fasts our minds work, sometimes to our own demise. There are so many times I walk into my kitchen, which I use as my office, to knock things off my to-do list, but instead I end up wiping down the counters, making my shopping list, taking things back to their rightful homes or worse, find a magazine I left in the corner last week and flip through my favorite articles. Ahhh the distractions are so real!
I’ve been really trying to make a conscious effort lately to find focus during the dedicated moments and keep my space and mind in a place that allow for productivity rather than floating to the next fancy thing in my line of sight.
Here’s what’s been working for me:
1. Make a dedicated space
2. Keep the space clean
I don’t know why this is so much easier said than done, but it is. As hard as it is to keep that designated space clean…DO IT. Before you leave for the day, put everything back in it’s place, take the dishes away, maybe even wipe it down with a Clorox wipe. A clean space helps keep the distractions to a minimum. You may still have the virtual ones, but at least by doing this, you are eliminating the physical ones as best as possible.
3. Add a plant
Not only does it look super cute, but it’s been proven that plants help with stress relief. Keeping something low maintenance like an air plant or succulent can help both you and your co-workers find a little comfort and channel the right side of your brain.
4. Keep a "hot list"
I like to use the Reminders app on my phone that integrates with my computer for this. The purpose of a hot list is to help prioritize things you must get done TODAY.
I generally keep 3 or 4 to-do lists for key areas of my life. Home, Work, Little Foodie, and Beyond the Clock. I found myself getting super overwhelmed about all the things on my list. Most days it felt like it was growing exponentially, and I was only getting 1 or 2 things off my list. I started to take the top 3 things off of each list and prioritizing those, but even that seemed like a tall task. I was getting more disheartened that I couldn’t get 3 from each list off a day.
That’s when I tried the hot-list. Each evening, I go through the lists and prioritize something that absolutely must get off the list from each category. Normally it’s 3 items from my work list and 1 item from each of my other lists. Best of all, with the reminder’s app, you can right click and move the task over to the hot list so after I have done my prioritization, I only see those 6 things in the morning.
The list is much less overwhelming looking at 6 rather than 16 per list. My mind is able to mentally prepare and commit to accomplishing them that day which keeps all aspects of my life moving forward.
I’ve spoken to so many of you who have big dreams whether it be for a specific project, your career or next big purchase. I know from my own experience, staying committed to them can be hard, especially with the ten million other things going on and/or a day filled with Netflix and cookies only. I’m right there with you. The good thing about us as humans though, is we are able to form habits that can enable big things to happen.
I’d love to hear some helpful habits that are helping you guys stay productive and focused? Drop a comment for your favorite tool, app, desk décor or other that keeps you going strong.
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