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1.  Know your Goal. It’s all too easy to get completely distracted by social media, emails, Pinterest browsing, etc – that time can just fly by and before you know it, blink and the day has gone.  

One thing that can help you stay on task and focussed is to stop and ask yourself “Is this helping me to reach my goal?” If you think you will struggle to remind yourself to check, set a half hourly or hourly alarm to trigger that thought.  You may be amazed at how often the answer is “whoopsie – no!”

 2. Plan your Days. Each Sunday spend some time with your diary looking at what you have going on in the week ahead.  Then make a list of everything you want to get done in the week, marking out which are the must-do’s.  Try to only have between 3 – 5 must-do or else tasks each week.  Then decide which day would be most suitable for each task, taking in to account any commitments or appointments – starting with most important tasks first.  

Only put one or two things on your must get done list each day so no over overwhelm and you can feel accomplished when they are done!

Once you have blocked out time for those important tasks, you can either designate some of the lesser ones to each day, or do like I do – make a separate list of those tasks that can be worked on whenever time is available.

Make each task achievable.  If you have a big task to get done, break it down into small bite-sized pieces so you don’t procrastinate with overwhelm.

Each evening, glance through your diary to see what the plan for tomorrow is – is there anything special you need to do to prepare?   Do you need to get up earlier than usual to give yourself extra time?  Is everything you need easy to find?

And following on from that… 

3.  Have an Organised Work Area. If your natural habitat consists of you buried within piles of notebooks, bits of paper, work in progress notes, etc (like me!), then this is for you.

Get your space organised. 

Put everything together that you need for particular tasks, ensure as much as possible has a place to call home, and put things away after use.

(Self Note – Yes Jules, put things away after use!)

It’s amazing how minutes spent looking for things, or moving stuff out of the way, can add up to big time-loss chunks.  

4.  One Task at a Time. Try to give your all to one task and get it done before moving on to the next.  It’s all too easy to fall into the multi-tasking trap, starting on one thing, then starting another, then doing something else, and before you know it the day has passed and you can’t cross anything off your list as completed.

Focus all of your attention on getting that important task of the day done and out of the way. 

5.  Minimise Distractions and Commit.  I know that we all have busy lives, often with children or fur-babies that rely on us, and other commitments, but if we can block out regular chunks of ‘work time’ where our focus is purely on business tasks – it really does make a huge difference to our focus and mindset.  If you can work without children disrupting, perfect, if you can’t, is there a way you can squeeze in time to make that happen?  A slightly earlier wake up?  A slightly later bedtime?  An hour a week where someone can watch the children for you?  Oh, and if you are someone that likes to listen to background music or videos, set your playlist ready to go before you get started on a task.  Don’t keep stopping to choose a song or video – it’s a mega-minute zap and you will be amazed how much time you lose by stopping and starting. 

Get yourself as prepared as you can before you sit down to work.  Make sure the dog has been out for a piddle, you have got your coffee, your emails have been checked (so you don’t need to be tempted to check again), your non-important notifications are turned off, and your mindset is set to focus.

Time is Precious Waste it Wisely

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