Delegate, Focus, and GROW Your Business

Staying on Task: Try These 4 Tips

We live in a world simultaneously full of busyness and distractions. Sometimes we can feel like we’ve got a touch of ADD. We pick one thing up only to remember another thing and, on the way to do that, find yet another thing we need to accomplish. You can end up feeling like Doug, the talking dog in the Pixar movie Up, who keeps stopping mid-sentence because he thinks he sees a squirrel.

Chasing our tails leaves us cranky and unproductive. Here’s some practical tips to staying on task:

1 – Make a list. Writing down what you need to accomplish in a day or even on a project can give you focus. Making that list helps you see conflicts or flesh out items you may have forgotten to include. Plus there’s a little joy in checking it off to see your progress.

2 – Break a job into pieces. After you have made a list, breaking down any undesirable tasks into smaller bites can make it more manageable. Breaking a job into chunks helps you see progress and keep going.

3 – Schedule in a break. If the tasks are going to take a long time, make an appointment for a short minute break part-way through. Getting up and moving around, going for another cup of caffeine or a quick snack, or even just walking away from what you’ve done for a moment can help you come back to it with fresh eyes. Plus studies have shown we all sit entirely too much for our health. Moving around is good for you!

4 – Make a bribe for finishing. It may sound childish but we all appreciate rewards for accomplishing things. While you don’t need mom to buy you a sucker if you finish cleaning your room, perhaps you do have some fun stuff you’d like to do. Need to catch up on your DVR or want to enjoy a few minutes of a good book? Knowing you have something relaxing waiting for you at the end of a big project can help you stay focused. Give yourself permission to do something enjoyable that doesn’t accomplish anything but making you feel refreshed.

Of course, another way to stay on task is off-load some of those dreaded administrative tasks to a Virtual Assistant, so you can focus on the more important and challenging work you love.

photo credit: olgaberrios

Posted on December 12th, 2016 by Rachel Braam, Office Manager

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