What do you do to stay focused and on task?

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What do you do to stay focused and on task?

Postby soapin'Angela on Thu Jun 14, 2007 10:33 am

Hi All,

I've recently quit my job and every night I do up my schedule for the next day but I often find myself getting off task and not completing my full list. A lot of the work I do for clients is something I don't have to do immediately so sometimes I procrastinate too much on things...

Any tips on keeping steady on track? Is it possible?
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Postby Nell Taliercio on Thu Jun 14, 2007 3:46 pm

I don't think it's possible to stay on task every single day of every month. But, I've found the giant wall calendar staring me in the face helps a lot. LOL

You could also get an accountabilty partner if you wanted someone in your "business" asking you if you're on task. That isn't my idea of fun so I choose to have the wall calendar! :lol:
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Postby Mel on Thu Jun 14, 2007 11:19 pm

To stay on task, I slap on some headphones and jam out to classic rock or sometimes even Kid Rock or some of the newer bands with upbeat music. I have no idea why it works but it does.
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Postby tishialee on Thu Jun 14, 2007 11:40 pm

Staying on task is sometimes the hardest thing for me - I swear I have ADD sometimes!

I know what you mean about sometimes having work for clients that doesn't have to be done right away and procrasting because of that. I've learned (the hard way - I had a HUGE project due at the end of the month and my client gave me the instructions at the 1st of the month - well I forgot about it until the 22nd of the month and ended up pulling some allnighters to complete the project on time) that I'd rather start working on something right away and just do a little here and there instead of pushing it aside for the last minute. Guess I had to learn the hard way. I'll never forget that incident!

I try to take breaks every so often throughout the day - I take at least a 40-45 minute lunch so I can clear my head and refocus. I also get up and walk around and do some stretching every so often also. Sometimes just a couple minute break is enough to get me back on task and focused.
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Postby Mila on Fri Jun 15, 2007 11:57 am

I'm a very out of sight, out of mind type of person. So I need to have everything on my desk organized and I also have a wall calendar which I would be lost without. I really need to see on paper everything I need to do everyday.

If i'm having too many days where I'm losing focus I usually know that means i'm tired, over-worked, stress and take a little time out then come back refreshed.

I'm also ALWAYS working towards a goal, if I don't have something that i'm working towards then I really fall behind.
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Postby Nell Taliercio on Fri Jun 15, 2007 3:05 pm

You know Mel, I've heard of teens who study better with the music blasting. lol

I know I clean the house best when music is blasting...keeps me motivated and focused on the task at hand.
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Postby Alice Seba on Fri Jun 15, 2007 6:16 pm

Short lists. Lists that are too long making me feel overwhelmed, so as long as I have a short list of key thing to do, I stay focused. Then I get off the computer soon after and stay off until I have stuff to do on my list.
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Postby Sean's Mom on Fri Jun 15, 2007 11:36 pm

Lists work really well for me too.

I'm one of those annoying people that makes lists of everything. I have a notebook here on my desk that says, "Mommy's To-Do Today" on the front of it. One of the first things I do each morning is pull out my notebook, open it to the first clean page, write the day and date at the top and number it 1-10. I write down the top 10 things that I have to get accomplished , in no particular order, both business and non-business related:
1) Call Aunt Ginny.
2) Work on wood bead necklace project.
3) Clean bathroom.
Etc.

I find that I get a lot more done when I have a list to check things off of. I hold myself accountable because it's on paper and I get a feeling of satisfaction as I cross one thing off after another. By keeping it all together in a notebook I can look back and give myself a pat on the back when I've been on point...or a kick in the butt when I've been slacking. It's also helpful as a reference when you can't remember when you did something. I sold a few items on eBay a few weeks back and one of the Buyer's emailed me asking when their purchase had been shipped and all I had to do was flip back in my book and look for the day "mail ebay packages" was crossed off.

My little system has worked really well for me, I hope it helps someone else.

:D

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Postby laurie1009 on Sat Jun 16, 2007 10:27 am

I think definitely having a list helps. I agree - if something isn't "urgent" I can tend to drift to other things. But I find if I make a list and prioritize it, it helps me stay on track.
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Postby Mel on Sat Jun 16, 2007 12:08 pm

I'm a list maker too and it works pretty well but if I'm working on something from my list and find myself zoning out then I stick my headphones on.
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Postby soapin'Angela on Wed Jun 20, 2007 10:23 am

Wow I can't believe I forgot I asked this! LOL.. maybe I should of put it on my list?!

Some awesome advice here. I haven't taken a single break since I've started so maybe that's one reason why my body is refusing to focus lately...

I've been making lists lately and what I do is have my list for the day but it's on a big sheet of paper where I write the whole week, that way I can see what I need to accomplish that week. I'll try the music suggestion, I do love music :)

Thanks everyone for responding!
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Postby MorgansMom on Thu Jun 21, 2007 12:51 pm

This is a huge problem for me too. It's hard with two little kids who are constantly pulling at your leg or wanting milk or something to eat or beating each other up! I can never concentrate long enough to get any quality work done. The best time for me to do anything productive is while my son is napping but by then I'm usually worn out and the last thing I feel like doing is work soooo...

I LOVE Style at Home magazine. I'd love to have every room in my house look like one of the rooms in that magazine. When I'm needing some inspiration I flip through and picture my house looking like that and for some reason this gets my butt in gear and I can start working again. I just tell myself that the money I make from doing the work will go towards and awesome looking house :)
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Postby Mara B on Fri Jun 22, 2007 9:09 pm

I think our problem is that we're women, and so we're prone to trying to multitask. If that's the case, then we're easily distracted. At least it is for me. I get started on one thing and am going at a good clip, then all of a sudden something else happens and I figure I can do that, too. Next thing I know, it's time for bed and I never got finished with the first thing. :( :oops:
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Postby soapin'Angela on Mon Jun 25, 2007 10:53 am

I posted this on my site too but some things I'm doing today to keep on task:

- EMAIL OFF - this is a big time drain for me! I usually have myself logged into my email and it's open on my desk. Today it is off and I'm checking it twice during my work day for 15 minutes each time : 1pm & 4pm . Then I'll check it again after my son goes to bed.

- Instant Messengers OFF - Sometimes I see someone come online and decide to send them a quick message and end up chatting for an hour! This is bad news so the messangers (Yahoo & MSN) are off.

- Feed Reader OFF - So I just recently got a great feedreader that sites right in the bottom right corner (I can't remember what that area is called but it has the little icons) and lets me know whenever someone new has posted to their blog. Though it is part of my marketing plan to make valuable comments on others blogs this is a distraction and I need to do it only on my designated time.

So far this is helping! I"ve already got a good deal of work done. Now I'm back to work :)
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Postby Mara B on Mon Jun 25, 2007 2:38 pm

I agree with you about having the instant messenger turned off. I love talking to my friends, but I just can't get as much done when I'm chit-chatting with them. I don't want to hurt their feelings, but I have things to do, and will have to get back to them later when my work is done.
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