Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.
– Mother Teresa
With so much going on in our busy lives staying focused and on the task at times turns into a very real struggle. This drains our precious life energy cultivating a scarcity mindset that staying on task isn’t possible given the multitude of tasks and distractions showing up at any given moment. What shows up when this mindset enters the room is tension, stress, and frustration.
The good news! Making an intentional choice to find and become better aligned with what personally matters and your “why” will offer inspiration so you can stay on task! A win for you and everyone else too!
Here Are 20 Tips to Keep You on Task:
Single task approach
Although it seems like you’ll accomplish more at one time with the multi-task approach. You are spreading your effort across many areas which weakens your efforts, energy, and productivity.
Take a moment of meditation
Use intentional quiet and stillness in the form of a short break to reset and center at the beginning of your day or before starting a big project.
Ease off technology
Nothing distracts us more than vibrations and pings with “alerts” from our smartphones. Turn off the alerts and place your device out of reach while you are in work mode so you’ll stay focused.
Use positive affirmations and power words
Cultivate a personal power statement as a way to be in the moment with focus and positive intention offering inspiration and means to be present with what it is you are doing.
Intentionally schedule your day
When you know what lies ahead for you hour by hour or task to task, your energy is attuned to what it is needing to be accomplished. This literally keeps you on task. Bonus? More energy for what you enjoy when your work is complete
Say no with intention
Notice how often you say yes to things that stretch you too thin and leave you feeling depleted. Use no when you feel out of alignment with a weak or insincere yes.
Just as it sounds! Ask for help with tasks that can easily be done by others at your workplace and home space so your energy stays where it’s needed at the moment at hand.
Stay hydrated and healthy food satiated
Fuel your body and brain with plenty of water and healthy foods to prevent brain fog and low blood sugar. A lack of these will slow you down and decrease creativity and focus.
Take small breaks
In the midst of a workday or project take a small break to reset your body and brain. Get up and move around. Drink some water. If possible, step outside. Then get back to your work/task!
If you have a big project or a long to-do list. Lift your energy and spirits by giving yourself a reward when done for the day or upon completion. This can be something like a yoga class or walk or favorite food item or social media break! Do what makes you smile and lifts your spirits.
Know in advance a time approximation of what it is you are doing
Knowing how long something will take sets you up to maintain focus and energy.
Prioritize your tasks
Choose the most important, urgent and time-sensitive tasks first.
Intentional use of positive loving self-talk
You are far more likely to complete your task and work when using self-compassion as a means of motivation versus self-deprecation. Love trumps over negativity!
As helpful as apps are they also distract us like no other if we are working all day on a computer. Simply close these down.
Set the expectation with yourself and others that you are busy
This sets the understanding that you are busy and not to be interrupted.
Do the “harder” work according to your energy levels during the day
Know what time of the day is your “on” time for doing more intense and focused work. Schedule according to this.
As you show up to get work done take care of your body and mind as well. If you use and abuse your body it will push back with very real health issues down the road. Be kind to yourself!
Make sure you are physically comfortable as you work
If you are physically uncomfortable then you will be distracted which will throw you off task. Ensure your desk, chair, workspace, and personal office area fit your comfort needs.
As simple as this sounds, good breathing brings in more oxygen which gives your body and brain more energy. Sit up tall if you are working at a desk/computer and breathe fully for three breaths. Do this periodically throughout your workday. Good breathing gives you good energy and stamina.
Have a start time and end time for your workday
In our world today it is very easy to work non-stop. Don’t. Give your body/brain a chance to reset. At times you may need to work crazy hours to finish a job or project. Make it the norm to have a beginning and end to your workday.
Which tips did you find useful? Do you have other tips to keep yourself on task that did not get mentioned above? If so, please share them with us in the comments section below!
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*Originally published on January 30, 2020
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