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Four Practical Tips To Stay On Task

Metaphor of target and goal achievement for productive work. Time management and development concept

We live in a world simultaneously full of endless tasks and distractions. You can start one task, only to remember another higher priority task which leads to another yet another set of tasks that need to be completed. Eventually, 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. So what do we do when “chasing our tails” leaves us cranky and unproductive? Here are four practical tips to stay on task:

Four Practical Tips To Stay On Task

1 – Make A List

 According to recent studies, our average ability to remember mental tasks is only three to five items. So, writing down your list of tasks will help you identify easily what task to start next. Additionally, this works for a large project and your list will provide a framework to see if you are missing any important items. Plus there is always the feeling of joy in crossing an item off your list.

2 – Work When You Are The Most Productive

We all know that your ability to focus will fluctuate throughout the day and even the week. At certain times you can quickly write an email and others when something so simple seems like a challenge. While you can’t completely eliminate your less productive time periods, you can recognize when you are normally at your best and optimize it. Save your creative projects for when you feel more focused and admin work when you are more easily distracted.

3 – Schedule 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 makes you feel refreshed.

Hire Some Help To Stay On Task!

Of course, another way to stay on task is to 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.

Posted on December 21st, 2021 by Client Advocate Team

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