In my last productivity post we talked about dealing with work at home distractions. Today I want to share my favorite strategy for getting things done with you even when your day gets away from you. Because let’s face it. We all have those times when things go wrong. Or friends stop by. Or the washing machine decides to overflow. Distractions happen. Emergencies happen. But there’s a way to make sure the most important stuff gets done.
The idea is to write your three most important tasks down. Ideally you’ll do this the night before as you wrap up work for the day. Spend a couple of minutes while everything is fresh on your mind to decide what those tasks are. If you can’t do it in the late afternoon or evening, make your list first thing in the morning. The benefit of creating it the day before is that you can hit the ground running as soon as you sit down at your desk.
Work on these three tasks before you do anything else. Why is this important? Because this way you will make progress no matter what happens. Don’t give into the temptation to check email or social media first. Focus on your top three tasks and get them done.
How do you choose these tasks? It’s the things that will move you into the right direction. Look at your goals, look at your deadlines, look at your money making activities. These are the things you want to pick from for your top three tasks for the day.
By the way, these don’t have to be big projects. Something as simple as tweaking an ad, sending an email, or turning in your expense report can make an immediate difference. Or maybe you’re taking that next step on a larger project. Don’t overthink this and remember you will get a chance to pick three different tasks for tomorrow.