Make a list. I am a taskmaster; ask anyone who knows me. I draft lists so I don’t forget things I need to do. I use my iPhone’s note pad, electronic post-its on my computer desktop, as well as good ole fashioned pen and paper. Checking off items from an organized list helps to keep the focus and designate priorities.
Have a positive/can-do attitude. If you fill your mind with “I can’t,” guess what? You won’t. Rid your mind of negativity and be positive you can accomplish your task, project, assignment, etc. A willful attitude can move you forward and allow good energy to flow through. Doubt will set you back; positivity will propel you forward!
Assign priority and attack the big items first. At work, for school, and in life, I go after the big items first. If a ten page paper is due, I start that assignment first! Attack it and be aggressive. Don’t let procrastination get the better of you. Tell that inner voice saying “hmmm, we can do this later…” to pipe the heck down. There is no later, the time is now. Get critical and urgent items done first, then work your way down the list. Check, check, check!
Keep your phone on silent. We are conditioned. When we hear the ding, buzz, chime or bell, we react. The irrational need to see who texted, called, or emailed consumes us. Keep that phone on mute when working on a project or task. Checking email, social media, and text messages every five seconds can kill productivity. To be in the moment and focus on a task, helps it to reach completion.
Carve out time. We are all busy. With that said, we all have choices on what takes precedence in our lives. For me, right now my marriage, school, and my career are number one in my life (I am currently far away from family and friends). Of course, I would love to be wandering some charming southern town taking photographs at my every whim—but I don’t. I spend every weekend dedicated to classwork, because that is what is important. That doesn’t mean I am glued to my computer every second. I make time for nightly walks with my husband and our dogs, we also plan a date night once a week. Find your balance.
Avoid unnecessary distractions. Get dialed into a project and dedicate yourself to completing it. When I am writing a paper, I take water/snack breaks and that is about it. I don’t wander the house, flip on the TV, or cruise social media. I avoid anything that will derail me. Know what distractions you need to avoid and don’t let them pull you in. Whatever it is, can usually wait.
Just do it. Stop trying to multi-task and dedicate yourself to one thing. Many recent studies have now shown taking on multiple items simultaneously, actually isn’t the best approach. With that said, the best way to complete a task is to…well, just do it. Stop making excuses. Excuses waste precious time. The more time you spend hemming and hawing, is time you could have spent getting things done.