I have always struggled with the "task hopping bug" for as long as I can remember. I will be in the middle of a cranking out a project or blog post and all of a sudden, I lose all focus and get completely distracted. Social media, iPhones and email notifications serve as a constant pull from the thing I need to be getting done most of all.
Can you relate?
The stakes are even higher now as a work from home mom with a daughter who takes naps 2x per day (~5 hours of work time during the day until my husband tags in for the night time routine). Those precious windows of time are when I get my prospective client calls done, blog posts/videos recorded, prep for client calls and everything else in between (cleaning/workout/life details/etc.). I've said it once before and I'll say it again, thank goodness for our little Roomba!
After having a tussle with the TH bug, himself, earlier today; I thought it would be helpful to provide some helpful tips on how to avoid the task hop tendency and stay on track to accomplish your goals:
1) Get your GSD list written out the night before.
I spend a few minutes each night making a giant list of all of the stuff bouncing around in my brain and putting it on paper so I can see it. It helps to "cleanse" my mind and prioritize, delegate and DO the things that are absolutely necessary. It also helps me slough off the minutia that is not useful to the overall mission.
2) Be disciplined within the parameters of the time you have to complete a task.
If you set a goal of writing out that proposal in the morning, WRITE OUT THE PROPOSAL. Unless a herd of wild horses run through your office or a long, lost aunt shows up on your doorstep with her suitcase and nippy chihuahua, you need to hold yourself accountable and complete the task you set out to accomplish. No excuses. Get er' done.
3) Minimize distractions.
Shut your phone off. No, really, shut it off or put it in another room on silent if you will be tempted. Close out Facebook and your email. Just do it for a small window of time and crank on the task you need to get accomplished. If your task is to "Go on Facebook/LinkedIn and connect," do it; but, set a time limit. If you notice yourself getting pulled by this article and that status update, stop it and remind yourself of the task you are completing at the given time. Setting boundaries for ourselves, having a plan and some order around our work helps us to accomplish our goals.
I am going to keep it simple for you.
GSD, be disciplined and make it easy on yourself by putting the blinders on.
Stay tuned for next week's blog post around procrastination vs. avoidance and how understanding the difference can have a profound affect on your productivity.
What are some ways you stay focused and avoid the task hop bug? I'd love to hear about it in the comments below!
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