Distraction in the 21st century is higher than the previous centuries. There are so many things that compete for our times; from those push notifications on our electronics to those spam phone calls. Distraction is everywhere and most likely on your palm right now. The rise of mobile devices (cell phones, smart watches etc) have caused most of us to be smarter and ultimately increase productivity. However, a good number of us get distracted quickly by these devices. Looking at the push notifications, one lengthy scroll on Instagram and other similar actions take a chunk of our time and cause us to leave important tasks undone. Distraction can be fought by being intentional and discipline every day. How to get through your daily To-Do list and win everyday is easy and you can do it. Here are 5 steps to win over daily distractions.
Get A Physical PlannerYou need to get your daily plans written down not typed out. A physical planner prevents you from getting on your phone unnecessarily during the day and also makes it easier for you to add a new task to your daily plan. There are many portable planners that can help you get through the day. You can choose from a plethora of planners on Amazon. You can pause reading this blog and buy one right now. I recommend this planner Moleskine 18 Month Weekly Planner. Keeping your planner around you all day will encourage you to keep taking actions without distractions.
Put Your To-Do List in a Decent OrderOrdering your list is extremely important. While the ordering parameter is solely up to you, going through the list sequentially helps you to remain focused and follow through until the end. Personally, I often order my list based on time-related tasks, association and order of importance. For instance, if it would be great to call Sammy D. at 9 am, I can schedule all my phone calls or email around 9 am (time and association). I have seen people ordered their lists based on location, availability etc. How you order does not matter, what matters is taking the necessary action in the written order.
Don’t Do What Is Not On Your List. Except For EmergenciesWe often times have things that will show up without heads up like a flat tire, an absent coworker who you need to cover for, that email which requires you to take action immediately and many other things. When such things happen, have an honest evaluation of these things so that you can deduce if they truly worth going off your list for. If they don’t worth it, please have them scheduled for the future to avoid what I call “Good Distraction”. Good distractions are those things that you need to do but don’t have to be done immediately.
Strikethrough Completed TasksWho does not feel good after a completed task? Nobody! I suppose. Give yourself some credit and extra energy to conquer more on your to-do list. You can achieve this by striking out completed tasks. After every strike, you will feel accomplished and ready to pick up the next task with even higher momentum.
Review and RepeatGreater happiness and relief come when you do a final review of your to-do list. Reviewing your list by the end of the day would help you see your success, where you could have done better and more importantly will get you prepared for the next day. It would be nice to do a mid-day review too. Don’t beat yourself up on the days you feel like you could have done more (i.e more strikethroughs). The next day is another day to repeat the process and have bigger wins.
Remember that how accomplished your yearly goals are depend on how you effectively accomplish your weekly and daily goals. Also, when and how to get through your daily To-Do list require nothing but intentionality. Remain positive and keep winning!