It is SO easy to appear to be busy all the time. And then you wonder why there’s not enough time to Get Things Done. Don’t panic – there is a way around this problem…
We like to think that we are busy, busy, busy as long as we are doing things which are work related. But are you actually getting things done? Here’s what a typical ‘busy working’ daily routine looks like…
You get home from the day job, have dinner and then open your laptop, or start up your PC, and your email Inbox automatically opens. You see a couple of emails that need answering and, after you’ve attended to those, there are a few more that you feel you ought to read.
One or two of them contain links to what looks like stuff you really ought to see, so you click through and spend some time watching a video or reading a sales letter for a product that you think might be of use.
But you’d better check out that product first, right? So you search for some reviews to see whether it’s any good and land on more videos or blog reviews.
You hear a ‘ping’ notification
Then you get a ‘ping’ – it’s a message on your phone that one of the people you follow has posted on Facebook. Well, you’d better check that out, hadn’t you? So you watch the video in that post and, oh yeah, there’s a few other things which have been happening on Facebook since you last checked in.
Finally, you glance at the time. OMG, you’ve already spent three hours on all this stuff and you haven’t even started what you meant to do. Never mind, you can get that done tomorrow. You tell yourself you’ve been busy, you’re worn out and it’s time for bed.
Except that, of course, when tomorrow comes the whole daily routine starts over again and you still don’t get that important task done.
Does that sound familiar?
Maybe this isn’t your daily routine, exactly, but you can see how easy it is to get distracted from the tasks you imagined you’d be doing when you first sat down at your computer.
Yet, because of the distractions, you got none of them done.
There are just not enough hours in the day
Most people spend all their time being busy, busy, busy and never even get started on the things that really matter.
They frequently complain that there are ‘not enough hours in the day‘ and wonder how successful people manage to do all the things that they do.
They probably think that these successful people are superhuman or have mastered the secret of multi-tasking.
Let me tell you – there IS NO SECRET! Multi-tasking DOES NOT WORK!
The real secret is to maintain FOCUS on what needs to be done to move you along the journey that is going to get you to your goal.
I’ve talked, in another post, about an App that you can use to set a daily routine that will ensure you Get Things Done (more about that later).
I’m about to show you the best way to FOCUS on those activities, using…
The Pomodoro Technique
In the late 1980s an Italian student named Francisco Cirillo was working on how to improve his focus during his study periods using a kitchen timer, one of those timers that is red and shaped like a tomato (pomodoro in Italian). His aim was to see how long he could maintain 100% focus without distraction.
He discovered that the optimum time to maintain 100% focus is 25 minutes.
After that he found out that a 3 to 5 minute break, before settling down to work for another 25 minutes, refreshed the brain so that you could, once again, achieve 100% focus.
It is fascinating to see how well this works if you will just try it for yourself.
- Set a timer on your watch, phone or computer (there are several software apps available that offer a Pomodoro timer) for 25 minutes.
- Put your phone into Airplane mode so you don’t get any notifications, then set to work and focus on doing ONLY the most important activity on your To-Do list.
- As soon as your timer goes off, stop working immediately and take a 5 minute break. You can get yourself a drink of tea, coffee or water or, even better, take some exercise – walk around or do some press-ups or something similar.
- Then start the timer again and focus for another 25 minutes.
Using a To-Do List or Success Wizard
Of course, this only works if your daily routine is to immediately start working on the most important activity on your To-Do List.
- Make a list of what you know you need to focus on the night before. That will embed in your brain the urgency of having to get those activities done.
- Then, when it is time to start work on those activities, DO NOT open your email Inbox and turn off all notifications from Facebook, Twitter and other social media apps.
- Get started on your most important activity immediately you open your computer and focus for 25 minutes, as I’ve shown you.
- Once you’ve spent 2 hours on your tasks, using the Pomodoro technique, take a longer break of 20 to 30 minutes.
Only when you’ve finished what you need to do can you open up your email Inbox or turn to social media. Regard this as a ‘reward’ for having Got Things Done!
Stop watching so much TV!
I’ve heard from people who tell me that they really don’t have time to work on their home business.
By the time they get back from work and have had something to eat and then some ‘me-time’ afterwards, they’re too tired to do anything else.
What is ‘me-time’? Ah, yes, it’s time to sit down and relax in front of the TV for a few hours.
So, they’re prepared to throw away their futures, give up on their goals, all for the sake of sitting, with their brains switched off, in the state of limbo that TV creates.
Yes, of course, it’s nice to switch your brain off and relax. But, please, do it as a reward when you Get Things Done!
If you prefer, use the old-fashioned way of keeping a notebook or journal of what needs doing and write yourself a To-Do List.
Or, for those like me, who prefer to use software to handle this task, with automatic reminders, use the Success Wizard App I show you how to use in this post: