I am one of those people, who get a little bit of a kick out of it when I scratch things off my to-do list. Lately, my to do list has exploded. I find myself often getting distracted and overwhelmed. With work, home, studies, and the blog it has create the need for me to carefully plan my time.
To not get lost in everything I need to do, I have set a few routines for myself to help me focus and achieve my goals. Without focus, I am much slower and sluggish when I need to do anything. Some of which are new and some of which are old habits. I have also started using a weekly planner! I am hoping these 7 tips plus the weekly planner can download can help you with your to do lists, as it has for me.
7 Ways To Ace Your To Do Lists (Through Bringing Focus)
Listen to calming music
You can find any music that calms you, and that makes you focus and brings you into that space where your magic happens.
For me, I listen to classical music (Mozart for Exam Study on iTunes). It drowns out the noise and allows me to focus. In fact, I can read, study or write while listening to this music on my headphones.
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Put your phone away
Your phone can be a big distraction, with instant messaging, and social media notifications, it is hard to switch off. When you sit down with something, put your phone away and focus. When I am listening to music on my phone, I put my phone on airplane mode so that notifications do not come through.
Take little breaks
Try to work in 20-minute bursts, and then take a 5-minute break. Or in 40-minute bursts then you take a 10-minute break. In this way, you are getting time to refresh your mind and come back energised. Make that cup of coffee, check your messages, whatever you need to do in that time.
I do this at home and work. I get up, make coffee. At work, I get a cup of coffee and engage with colleagues then back at it.
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Cut out the noise and prioritise
Focus on the key activities that you need to do. If other tasks come up as you are working, ask yourself how that contributes to your well being and your goals? If it does not, it needs to go.
Do not multitask, tackle one thing at a time
Tackle one thing at a time. We have been taught that women like multitasking, that might be true. However, if you sit down, focus and tackle one thing and get it done, you will achieve more.
For me, I get a lot more done when I sit down and tackle one task at a time.
[bctt tweet=”Do not multi task. Rather focus on one thing at a time, it will increase your productivity” username=”cherralle_”]
Write the tasks down and plan (download the weekly planner)
I am avid checklist maker! Recently I have started using a weekly planner. For each week in the month, I map out at a high level what I need to do for that week. I also jot down which days I will focus on what tasks at a high level. It gets crazy over here, with work projects, personal priorities, studies, family!!
Through writing down and tracking, I ensure that all aspects are covered from my work, home, and personal hobbies. Now this is not perfect, but on the whole it works for me. I picked it up from one of my beloved stationery stores, but I created an online version for you to use.
You can download a weekly planner for free over here!
[bctt tweet=”A weekly planner is a great way to stay on top of your high level goals for the week. ” username=”cherralle_”]
The only way to find more time is to give up something
Oh, and where can you find the time for personal goals? To get more time, you need to give up something.
I have reduced the time I spend watching TV drastically. I wake up most mornings between 4:00 – 5:00 am (the children wake up around 6:00). Going to bed earlier in the evening has helped me get up at this time.
I have also found that I am more focused that time in the morning. Much more focused then I would be if I had to do the same piece of work late at night. Different approaches work for different people. I am not advocating waking up at 4 am!
I find that getting a good night’s rest allows me with sufficient energy to start my day early and sustain my energy throughout the day.
Over to you, do you have any things you to that brings you focus?
Don’t forget to download the FREE weekly planner, to help you structure your week and month.
15 thoughts on “Ace Your To Do Lists With These 7 Tips (Plus Free Weekly Planner)”
I agree, waking up that early is productive. I’m still struggling to get my kid in bed early.
Putting your phone away is number 1, for me.
Still a work in progress for me, i, better at it with work tasks then at home 🙂
Love this! I HAVE to put my phone away to get anything done. And I love that you suggest not multitasking. It’s hard for me to do, but it makes focusing on completing one task (and completing it well) so much easier!
I like the idea of scheduling little breaks. Less guilt when I stop, and if it’s timed then it’s even better right! I’m going to check out your planner, I really need that.
These are great tips. It’s especially incredible just how much one can get done in little “20 minute increments”. That’s about how I get everything done, all the time, except for a few times a week when I set aside 2 or 3 hours at night when the little people are in bed. 🙂
The only thing that doesn’t work for me is putting down my phone because I work from my iPhone 7+ now 😭 But I agree, tackling one task and finishing it is so much better than doing one here and one thing there. Nothing ever gets completed (as someone with OCD tendencies being able to check complete is high on my list!). Loved this read.
I’ve started to reduce my tv time as well. I have no tv wednesday so I watch no tv on wednesdays and that is usually my most productive day!
I try to wake up earlier but my son must sense it because he gets up at the same time with me! Thanks for the tips ~ very useful 🙂
Great tips! Writing down the weekly list is key and prioritizing!
I agree with tackling one thing at a time. Thats me lately, I no longer multitask because it all ends up in disaster.
“Put your phone away” YES!! I need to work on that 😉
we all are a Work in progress 🙂
The phone is definitely my downfall. I feel like I’m always waiting for someone to get back to me or one of the kids might need something. I also need to stop the multi-tasking! Love these tips!
Thank you Kiersten. definitely multi tasking is one my biggest items to focus n as well.