“Don’t tell me how hard you work. Tell me how much you get done.” ― James Ling
Let’s say you’ve made a plan to complete several tasks or goals for the month. You told yourself that you’re going to stick with your plans and complete your tasks no matter what. So the following week, you started following your plans for the month. On day one, you’ve managed to complete your task. Then came the second day. Then comes the day the third day. Finally, the week has ended and you’re happy that you have done well in completing your tasks. *High five, a pat on your back, let’s have an ice cream party!*
So you’re ready to complete your tasks for the following week. Monday (or Sunday) comes, and you’ve completed your task. You’re more motivated than ever. But wait, something happens on Tuesday (or Monday) that somehow throws you off that you didn’t complete your desired task. Oh no! The following day comes and the same thing happens. Huh? At the end of the week, you seem to be off and notice that some of your tasks were not accomplished that you’re not focused and don’t seem accomplished. What just happened?
That my friend is called a lot of things, but for me, I call it a DISTRACTION!
I was not yelling, but merely stating the word in capital letters for dramatization, if that’s a word.
You know distractions, the thing that throws your attention to something else when you got important things to do. The thing that wants you to watch a music video or an animal that does some special trick when you’ve got some blogging or studies to do.
Distractions have been an acquaintance of mine for sometimes, especially when I blog, clean the house, or other major things I keep telling myself to complete for the day. And guess who comes along to fully throw me off my course?
Dunh Dunh Dunh!
So how do you remove these two nuisances out of your life? Specifically when you have important tasks at hand to complete?
Let me give you some ways that to remove distractions (and procrastination), or at least keep the focus on completing a particular task.
1. Chunk your Task To 15-30 Minute Interval
After 15 to 30 minutes of doing my task, I take a break. I give myself another 15 to 30 minutes break to focus on something else, such as watching a YouTube video, walk around, listen to music or do another task. I don’t exceed my task or break no more than 30 minutes unless I was into the task, which I can focus maximum 45 min to an hour. However, I keep the minutes short so I won’t have to be distracted.
If I was into the task, then I would work for another 15 to 30 minutes. After those minutes, I stop and take the usual 15 to 30 min break, but preferably 30 min. I prefer 30 minutes because If I extended my task length from 30 to 45 minutes, I need at least a pretty good length of time to detach from my task and give myself a little refresh. Or else I’ll burn out.
Now if there was a particular task that was longer than 30 minutes, such as cooking or cleaning the house, that would be a little different. If I feel that I can implement some of my work into my task, then I can work in between my cooking and my task.
I know for myself that I get distracted easily, and I mean REALLY easily. So placing these 15 to 30 minutes between tasks is really helpful when I am trying to complete particular tasks. In addition, getting breaks is a great way to not burn out.
2. Give your smartphone some space
My smartphone doesn’t distract me as it used to before since I do not have social media (whaa?). However, checking my emails and googling a particular subject is what I would usually do on my phone.
I did not say place it far away from me like in another room or something (which to me is rather ridiculous unless you’re glued to your phone), but far enough that I have to get up and walk a good distance to get my phone, browse for a bit as I walk around, then go back and sit down to continue on to my task. Moving around increases blood flow and gives you a little energy when you have to get back to work.
3. Planning equals productivity
This is very pertinent. If you don’t plan ahead, you might find yourself distracted and doing something else all of a sudden. I would prefer doing at least 2-5 task for the day, but it would also depend on your lifestyle (work, eating, exercise, etc). So when something does throw you off, you have the ability to choose what task you can accomplish between the 15 to 30-minute mark.
Can you extend the task to a week? A month? Make those plans! This is so important. It’ll save you a lot of trouble and forgetfulness. Make sure your task is about 2-5 things (or less) that you can complete during the day.
4. Fight Your Distractions and Re-plan
What I mean by that is when something or someone interrupts your routine, no matter how big or little it is, remember to focus on your goals and revise your plans to how you’re going to complete your task. But make sure you don’t revise all but just those that you were on the verge of doing and spread those task may be for the next day or next week.
Sometimes you got to be real with your self. Do you think you can finish 2-5 task a day? Really be realistic about your goals on how you’re going to complete your tasks. Then if life does throw you lemons, you’re going to know what to do with that lemonade.
And that’s making lemonade so you can drink it on your break time when you’ve made a killer way to complete those goals/tasks! *fist pump*.
These are the ways helped me a lot when I am trying to complete a task at home. This is can also be useful for college students, parents, or anyone that wants to get things done but may have a little trouble concentrating on a task for a long time.
I remember back in college that, for myself, I could not study for more than 30 minutes, especially when you had to read several chapters from a textbook. I didn’t learn any of these ways until my junior of college. JUNIOR YEAR!
Sad right? I was not a studious student but eventually made it through, with blood and tears. Well not blood and tears, but persistence and not giving up.
One thing that I would say is that you always need be mentally ready for the task, because if you’re not, then you’re never going to complete your task.
Trust me, I should know.
So implementing these tasks really helped me during my final years of college, at work, and also at home. This is even helping me with blogging!
How many tasks can you complete in a day? A week? A month? Let me know what you think in the comments below!
Until next time,