Why To-Do Lists Work
Are you using to-do lists throughout your day? If not, you may miss out on one of the most powerful productivity tools. It doesn’t matter if you use the old-fashioned notebook, pen, or a to-do list app on your phone. Below, you’re going to find out Why To-Do Lists Work.
There are three reasons why they work so well to keep you productive all day long.
To-Do Lists Make You Plan
Suppose you need to plan your day when you sit down to make your to-do list. You’re looking at everything you’re working on and deciding what you need to take care of today and in what order.
Depending on how you make your list, you may even think about what items on your list have the highest priority. The simple task of creating a list makes you work out many things in your head ahead of time. Sometimes this alone will help you stay more productive throughout your day.
To-Do Lists Keep You Focused
Having that list in front of you or next to you as you work away will help you stay focused on what you need to work on. And will help you to accomplish things throughout your busy day. We are all dealing with distractions. It’s easy to lose focus and get sucked into meaningless tasks and conversations.
With your list, you know at a glance what you should be working on, and if you make yourself get into the habit of not calling it a day until each item on your list is taken care of, you’re less likely to allow those distractions to take over big chunks of your day.
They Give You A Feeling Of Accomplishment
Checking off an item on your to-do list gives you a sense of accomplishment. For some, this is more effective when they can cross something off a piece of paper. For others, clicking the little checkmark on the app does the trick. Try them both and see what works best for you.
Take a moment to appreciate how much you’ve gotten done each time you check an item on the list. Then use that feeling of accomplishment to power you through the next thing. Rinse and repeat, and before you know it, you’ve made it through another highly productive day.
If you’re not in the habit of using daily to-do lists, I hope this encourages you to try it seriously.
Please list five things you want to get done before you call it a night today.
See how that goes, and then get in the habit of working from a daily list starting tomorrow morning.
Check out this fun site for some added punch for your to-do lists.
The High Cost Of Distractions At Home and Work
We all get distracted. Some of the distractions are brought on by others, but a lot of the time, we do things to distract ourselves. The High Cost Of Distractions At Home and Work – this is real y’all!
We browse through email and social media instead of getting right to work, we get home and turn on the TV to zone out.
We play on our phones whenever we need to take a break and check out for a bit. Are YOU guilty of this?
We cause these distractions for ourselves throughout the day without ever giving much thought to what it costs us in the long run.
What YOU need? Is a little ORGANIZATION…
Set Your Work Hours
Let’s start with work hours. Getting distracted will greatly diminish how much you can get done in a given day. Not only do you lose the time that you’re distracted, be it a minute while you check email, a couple of seconds while you glance at your phone to see what the flashing alert is about, or the fifteen minutes when a co-worker stops by to chat.
You lose additional productive time while you’re trying to figure out where you were and what you are supposed to be doing.
The time it takes to get back into “productive mode” is often longer than the time of the actual distraction. And it all adds up. After a couple of dozen distractions on a given day, you’ve easily lost a couple of hours of work time.
By itself, it may not seem like much, but multiplied over weeks, months, or even the year, it’s a lot of time. It’s a lot of progress that you aren’t making on what you’re working on. It may be the difference between getting that raise or promotion and missing out. It may make the difference between taking your business to the next level, and barely scraping by. It will make a big difference in how much money you make at the end of the year.
Your Personal Life – Ya Gotta Have One!
Let’s not forget about your personal life. While you may not be able to put a dollar value on the time you waste here by letting yourself be distracted, the cost ends up being even higher.
How many hours of quality time that you could be spending with your kids or your spouse are you wasting by watching TV shows you don’t really care about?
OR browsing through YouTube videos, or wasting away scrolling through Facebook and doing a Google search that ends with a cat video after two hours of mindless browsing.
Even if it’s just a few minutes here and there, this time adds up and it’s time you’re not getting back.
Isn’t it time to take back control of your time and your life?
Start by cutting out as many distractions as you can.
Here’s a list:
NEED HELP? WE’RE ALL EARS OVER HERE!
Pitfalls To Watch Out For When Working From Home
There’s no denying that working from home offers many advantages. In many ways it’s the ultimate freedom; you get to set your own hours, working when, where and how you want. Below, I list out some of the very Pitfalls To Watch Out For When Working From Home.
AND, there are also a number of potential pitfalls you need to be aware of and watch out for. You will risk turning your home-based job into an unproductive nightmare. YIKES!!
The #1 spot…Failing to keep business and private life separate
This is one of THE most common issues for people who work from home, especially those who are self-employed. When the home office is “right there”, it can be hard to stay away even if you should really be off work for the day.
Before you know it, you’ll have spent another few hours of your precious weekend at work. This is the fast track to burning out, and something you must learn to avoid if you want to be successful working from home.
pitfall [ˈpitˌfôl] NOUN a hidden or unsuspected danger or difficulty. synonyms: hazard · danger · risk · peril · difficulty · issue · problem · catch · snag · stumbling block · drawback · banana skin a covered pit used as a trap.
Not planning your work…mic drop!
This mostly applies to people who are self-employed and may not have a boss telling them what to do every day. When you’re working on your own projects, planning is an absolute must.
If the first thing you ask yourself when you start your day is “Ok, what am I going to do today?”, then you’re setting yourself up for failure. It’s much better to plan out the next day before you go off work in the evening, so you’re ready to get started first thing in the morning.
Working at irregular times – don’t do this!
When you’re free to set your own hours, it doesn’t mean that you should only work “whenever you feel like it”. Chances are after a few months that you’ll rarely feel like it at all, especially when there are so many fun distractions around the house.
That’s why it’s better to try to stick to working the same hours every day, even if it might resemble a “real job” a bit too much for your liking.
You can always take breaks during the day if you need to recharge, but try to at least go into your office around the same time if you want productivity levels to stay high.
Not getting out of the house regularly – who would have thought?
When you work from home there is usually very little motivation to go outside.
You’ve got everything you need at home anyway, right?
That’s true, but after a whole week you’ll most likely be feeling isolated and lonely, and that’s perfectly normal.
That’s why it’s so important to make time for little things like grabbing lunch with a friend – something as simple as that can really boost your energy and make your working week easier and less lonely.
NEED A FRIEND THIS WEEK?
4 Distractions That Drain Your Focus on Your Goals
There are plenty of distractions in the modern world. They take away your focus and your energy and can stop you from having the life you want. Below are 4 Distractions That Drain Your Focus on Your Goals.
If you’re not hitting your goals, maybe it’s time to look at your main distractions and do something about them.
Here are the most common distractions that are likely stopping you from living your best life:
- Social Media
It won’t surprise you to hear that the biggest distraction for most people is social media and the hours it eats out of the day. Take a quick look at your Instagram feed or Facebook, and before you know it, you’re mindlessly scrolling through what looks like other people’s perfect lives.
It’s time to take stock and decide how much of your life you want to spend watching what other people are doing. Set some boundaries about when and how long you will spend on social media. Take a look at your “friends” and see if they’re people you want to know.
- Smart Phones
Smartphones are great tools, but they can quickly become a huge distraction. Look around and see how many people are walking down the street with their eyes glued to their phones. Think about how long you can go without checking your phone. Try leaving your phone in your purse or your pocket when you go out for a meal. Leave it at home when you take the dog for a walk.
Another tip is to cull some of the apps on your phone. Work out what you need and delete the rest. And remember mobile games are one of the biggest time-sucks.
Think about how you want to use your time and be strategic about how you use your phone.
<strong>How To Focus</strong>
Build up your focus stamina. Each person may start off with a certain amount of time… 1) Reading is a great way to build up your focus. 2) Multi-task less. Though many people think that multitasking is a great way to accomplish goals more… 3) Pick the right time and place. Though you may not have the luxury of choosing when to start…
- Online Watching
How much time do you waste watching meaningless YouTube videos or binge-watching box sets? These might feel like simple, relaxing things to do, but if you’re not careful, they can drain as much time as social media.
Keep focused on how you want your life to be and make decisions about how much recreational TV you want to watch.
- Negative People
Giving your time away to negative people can be damaging to your success. Yes, that’s right! You can probably name the people at the office or in your life who drain you of energy and who take up a lot of time with their complaining, attention-seeking, and neediness.
If there are people around you who are undermining your chances of meeting your goals, you need to set some healthy boundaries and get out of their orbit.
Look for positive, high energy people who will support you and cheer you on.
We can help you with that!
Benefits of Getting Organized
Getting organized is not just a good idea because your mom said so. There are lots of benefits to being in control and developing a clutter-free lifestyle. The Benefits of Getting Organized goes something like this:
When organized you are automatically less stressed, you know where your keys, wallet, important papers, phone charger, and phone are. Similarly, if your project plan is up to date and you complete your reports on time, there’s no need to worry about on-the-spot requests for project updates or meetings.
Planning your time and keeping up-to-date means you can allocate time for everything in your life, including downtime. Being organized means, you won’t get sidetracked or panicked by not being able to find important items. You’ll be punctual and more productive.
Ready for the unexpected
You can be prepared for last-minute requests or deadlines because you’re not distracted by untidiness or the mental cloud of not being quite sure where things stand. That is true for everything from planning your child’s birthday party to that big project at work you are overseeing.
Studies have shown that being organized has demonstrable health benefits. Lower stress levels mean lower blood pressure and less body inflammation. Also, your immune system is stronger, and you’re less likely to be at risk of depression. You set up a positive feedback loop that spills over into other areas of your life. Better organization habits lead to better eating, exercise and sleep habits.
Nothing feels overwhelming
Having your life running smoothly, means you’re much calmer and in a better mental position to deal with things. You can look at your to-do list without panicking because you know you can do it. You know that you can tackle the list task-by-task without feeling overwhelmed.
It might seem counter-intuitive but putting effort into planning and organizing your life gives you more energy. You’re less stressed because your mind isn’t obsessing about all the stuff you have to do. When you have a plan, you’re in control and know you can get it all done. If your papers, ideas, and tasks are in order, you can see a way through. Life is no longer a chaotic mystery!
Finally, being organized signals trust and reliability. If you are on time, follow through on your commitments and are ready for whatever comes at you, you will project an image of professionalism and responsibility. You will look promotion-ready and get more respect from your colleagues and your family.
5 Ways To Increase Productivity When You’re Working From Home
It would help if you always looked for ways to increase productivity when working from home. More work done in less time means more time to kick back, relax and have fun. Here are 5 Ways To Increase Productivity When You’re Working From Home.
productivity: [ˌprōˌdəkˈtivədē, ˌprädəkˈtivədē] NOUN, the state or quality of producing something, especially crops. “the long-term productivity of land” · [more] the effectiveness of productive effort, especially in industry, as measured in terms of the rate of output per unit of input. “workers, have boosted productivity by 30 percent” synonyms: efficiency · production · productiveness · work rate · output · yield · capacity · productive capacity ecology the rate of production of new biomass by an individual, population, or community; the fertility or capacity of a given habitat or area. “nutrient-rich waters with high productivity” synonyms: fruitfulness · fertility · productiveness · fecundity · richnessContent goes here
Here are a few suggestions that can make a difference:
Keep a daily routine
Some people new to working from home will scoff at the idea of anything resembling a daily schedule. The truth is that it can boost productivity and prevent work from spilling over into your spare time. Starting and stopping work at approximately the same time every day ensures you’ll have plenty of time to recharge afterward, which is ultimately great for productivity.
Always plan ahead
Something as simple as a daily to-do list can do wonders for your productivity. Sure, deciding on the spot what to do next has a certain charm, but it leaves you spending too much time on fixing and too little on actually working. Keep a daily to-do list and decide on your tasks the next day before your workday ends – you’ll notice the difference immediately!
It’s impossible to stay productive in the long run if you treat your body and mind poorly. You don’t have to become a health nut to get some real work done, but you should, at the very least, try to schedule some exercise a couple of times per week, even if it’s just going for a walk around the block. It’s also a good idea to invest in an ergonomic workplace, including an excellent chair to sit on, as that helps reduce fatigue and keep you energized throughout the day.
Yes, some people can watch TV while they’re working. However, they’re probably a minority, as most of us find it quite challenging to focus on two things simultaneously. When you’re working, turn off the TV, set your phone to silent, close your Facebook tab, and shut the door – your productivity will skyrocket!
Get out of the house
Even if you’re the type of person who enjoys working alone, it can get lonely after a while. If you spend all your week cooped up in your office, rarely seeing the outside world, you’ll feel a bit isolated, and your work will suffer.
Therefore, make a point of leaving the house at least a few times per week, even if it’s just to do something simple such as meeting a friend for lunch. Maybe not, with this current situation! But I digress…
These are just a few examples of things you can do to improve productivity. Most people should benefit from implementing these, but feel free to experiment and find what works best for you.
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