When we sit around at the virtual coffee shop with our friends and chat about all things business and ministry, we always get around to the subject of productivity.
Well, we don’t actually say the word “productivity.” That’s a little too fussy for us.
We’re more likely to moan about how easily distracted we are, or how we never seem to do the things we intend to get done. We wonder how to make better use of our time, or even better how to create more time for all our tasks.
What if our problem is not one of time, but of focus? What if we need a better way to stay on track in the time we already have?
King Solomon knew the importance of staying focused. He reminded us:
Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you. Proverbs 4:25 (ESV)
But friend, I know how hard it is to keep my eyes looking directly at what needs to be done, especially when working online. One comment leads to a click leads to a download and before I know it, I’ve spent an hour chasing digital rabbits!
I’ve found that I can stay on track when I have one big task that needs to be done, like writing a whole blog post, or creating a download or printable. But I struggle when I have several smaller tasks that need to be done. That’s when I start to wander between tasks.
This struggle is real, so I want to share the one habit that has helped me the most to stay focused while working online. And it’s so easy … all you need is a square sticky-note! I know you love office supplies, so I bet you have stacks of sticky notes in every color laying around! Try this next time you sit down to work and see if it helps!
Make a micro-plan
A “plan” is just an intentional set of actions that lead to your desired result. It doesn’t have to be a big complicated thing that takes weeks to do. Look at your to-do list and make a plan for your work session. I pick a start and stop time and the three or four things you need to get done in that session.
Create your check-list
Turn your sticky-note pad so that the sticky stuff is to the left instead of at the top (this is the trick to make this hack work!). Write your start and stop times and then create a check-list of the three or four things you want to get done. Don’t forget to make the little boxes so you can check them off!
Stick it in your line of sight
Stick the sticky-note on the edge of your computer screen so it is in your line of sight while you are working. It will serve as a visual reminder of your most important tasks. Check them off as you go to get that little adrenaline rush.
This process helped me so much, I had custom sticky notes printed so it looked all official-like. I have some extras, so if you’d like a pack, click here to grab them!
How about you? What helps you stay focused while working online? Share your best tips in the comments!