How to stay focused, say no, and get it all done
If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably overscheduled yourself a time or two in your life. You are ambitious about what you want to do and feel ready to take on the world so you make yourself a long to do list that doesn’t end up getting done.
You’re not alone. I’ve been there a few times. I used to fill my planner with all the things thinking I could actually do them all, only to find myself stressed, overwhelmed, and exhausted at the end of each day.
Then I learned a simple method for boosting my productivity: Stop trying to do it all. Instead of filling every line on the do to list, I started being more realistic about what I could actually do in one day. And then things started getting done, the list was completed, and I felt better overall.
Sure, it meant that some things didn’t get done until later, but in the long run, this was well worth it in exchange for more sanity. So how did I implement this simple method in my life and business? Here’s how →
Keep your eye on the prize, friend. It is easy to get distracted by all the things you want to do, but you have to focus on the things that you actually need to do first. Don’t let the shiny objects pull your eye away from what is in front of you.
I do this through monthly planning. I think about all the things I need to accomplish for that month and then break it down by weeks. Then I look at each week and the amount of time each task takes and schedule out my days focusing only on the tasks for that day when that day comes. This helps me stay focused on the big picture while taking it one day at a time.
Learning to say no and Keeping it real
The key part of being able to stay on top of things is to make sure your list stays manageable. In order to do that, you have to say no.
You have to decide what is worth your time and what is not. Even if it sounds like a great opportunity, everyone else seems to be doing it, or you just feel obligated to do it, it may not be right for you. Keep in mind how much how much time you have and what you want to do with it.
Be realistic about your to-do list and what you can actually accomplish each day. I had a major wake up call in this when I started having two kids at home with me all day. I wanted to do more than I could. I thought I could do more than I could.
The truth is that I couldn’t and I had to learn to accept that fact and keep it real in order to be more productive. If I expected to get too much done and then didn’t complete half of it, I felt so unproductive and defeated. But once I made the shift and realized how much I could actually get done in a day, I was able to check off all the items on my list and be much more productive in the long run.
Get it all done
You can get it all done. You can actually finish your to-do list with time to spare and still make progress on the things in your life. How you ask?
Do less and get more done.
It’s what we’ve been talking about all along. By being selective about what goes on your to-do list each day, you are setting yourself up for success. You will do better work and be more focused on the task at hand.
And in the long run, you’ll get more done because you will actually feel accomplished at the end of the day. And when you feel like you’re checking items off your list like a champ, you’ll take on the next day with more enthusiasm and stamina.
Nothing can be gained from running yourself into the ground trying to do it all. Instead, do enough. Do just what really matters and stop there. Be efficient and effective with your time.