18 Ways To Be Less Scattered In Your Daily Life
1. Use a master notebook or scheduling and list-making system. Stop using a dozen different notebooks, scraps of napkins, a zillion post-its.
2. Eliminate the obvious distractions. Turn off email alerts on your phone. Utilize the Do Not Disturb feature during certain hours.
3. Make phone dates ahead of time with friends, family, and business contacts to avoid the annoyance of playing phone tag.
4. Prepare. The way to avoid feeling frenetic is to be prepared so that when crunch time arrives, the next step is obvious. Prep your meals by pre-washing and chopping produce, have your work bag packed the night before, etc.
5. Stop trying to do it all.
6. Do not overcommit. When in doubt, say, “Let me think/double check on that.” Don’t automatically say,”YES!”
7. Before committing to anything or anyone, communicate expectations and clarify deadlines. (“I’d love to help you out with that. When do you need that from me by?” Or: “I’d love to have your help with that; when is the soonest you can get that to me by?”)
8. Schedule admin time. With yourself. At your desk. Every week. If not every day. Use that time to update your calendar, answer emails, schedule appointments, handle incoming papers, etc.
9. Batch your tasks.
10. Don’t expect you’ll remember any important details or task reminders “later.” Capture it when it occurs to you.
11. Turn it off, tune it out, quiet the crazy.
12. Give yourself a twenty-minute buffer. Always. Anytime you go anywhere. If you aim for twenty, you might end up with 5 or 10, and we all know, these crucial down-to-the-wire minutes make all the difference.
13. Assume it will take longer than you think it will. See above.
14. Be where you are. Work on being present in the moment.
15. Commit to showing up for yourself in one spirit-feeding, life-giving way every day.
16. Routine. Get one.
17. To-do list–make one.
18. Review your to-do list for tomorrow before you go to bed at night.
Image credit: “Head Strong” by Giampaolo Sgura for Allure US September 2015
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