Distractions can be like potholes – not only do they keep you from completing a necessary task, but they may even be dangerous!  By creating a plan, details can be better managed so that more tasks will have a checkmark next to them at the end of the day. Let’s review some tips about planning that can make a work day be much more productive by getting things DONE.

First Step – Discovering

Details can compromise your mindfulness by ricocheting around in your thoughts.  Take control of them by looking through notes on your desk, emails in your inbox, saved messages on your phone, and appointments on your calendar.  Now it’s becoming clear how distracting all of loose details can be!

Use a pencil or a cursor to create a list of all of them.  Add even the small reminders – like picking up bananas and protein bars on the way home from work – so those won’t surface throughout the day to nag you to remember.  Your list may be lengthy, depending on the day, and whether some tasks have been lingering for awhile. That’s quite alright.

Second Step – Ordering

Now it’s time to create a new list with three columns:  NOW – LATER – NOT. Yes, keep track of the items that someone else can do or that are unimportant and off the list.  Transfer the items to the new list, assessing the urgency of each one. Once you have done that, focus on the first two columns.  Prioritize the tasks that need your attention now, so that you can schedule what needs to be done today.

Next to the items which are not as critical, map out when those do need to be completed.  Using a calendar, plan your day and your week. If a task can wait until next week, make a note of that.  Make certain that no task is missed from the transfer from notes to calendar. That makes good sense.

Third Step – Needing

You’ve now got a clearer view of which task needs to be tackled first.  Instead of feeling overwhelmed by what needs to be done, focus on one task at a time – and for only 20 minutes.  Using an alarm and a series of short breaks, work in 20-minute intervals. During that time, avoid distractions such as phones, emails, and meetings. 

Take a longer break on the hour.  During that break, determine whether your schedule will allow more time to focus on that task.  If not, move on to the next one. Take planned breaks throughout the day – to catch up with updates and lunch – but do keep yourself on a rather tight schedule.  Working with your workload and the timetable you’ve set for yourself will help you get much more done by the end of the day than interrupting your focus, putting out fires, and allowing distractions to interfere with the rhythm and flow of productivity.  That’s for sure.

Fourth Step – Evaluating

Save this step for the end of the day.  Go back to your original list notepad and make comments about how well things turned out.  Will you do things differently the next time you tackle this task? Is there anything remaining this time around that still must be done?  Loose ends? Calls to be made? Resulting action items? The next morning, look at those notes to add any unfinished tasks from the day before.

The whole purpose of working with a plan is to get things D-O-N-E.  Managing details is integral to mindful productivity. By prioritizing what needs to be done each day, relevant and essential tasks will be completed in timely manner.  By reviewing how well things turned out, plans can be tweaked for the next time around.  That’s a smart plan!

We know that some work details involve new leads and potential sales.  That’s why we developed LeadOwl, our leading-edge software that can help you manage those important details.  This smartphone and web app will assist you around the clock to stay organized, take notes, and remind you if you forget to call.  LeadOwl keeps track of the followup to your leads and sends push notifications to remind you to get in touch with these potential customers.  All of this from the palm of your hand!

Click this link to see how LeadOwl will help you become better organized, follow up quickly, and get things done.  We offer a FREE two-week trial, so take a look. Add that to your NOW column today to get started right away. 🦉