Do you have a never-ending to-do list?
Overwhelmed and feel like you don’t ever reach your goals or get your priorities done?
Do you have goals and tasks to complete but you don’t know where to start?
Have you considered focusing on just one daily task, rather than trying to complete your whole daily to-do list?
It might sound counterproductive. You are probably asking yourself, “How can I be more productive with only one daily focus task?”
By focusing on one task a day and making just one goal a day our priority, we actually can be more productive and accomplish more.
Let me show you.
How to be more productive
A few months back, I had a room in my home that had become a big mess. You know the place, it was the room where we would drop off stuff that we didn’t want to deal with at the time or didn’t have time to put away. It wasn’t a junk drawer, it had become a whole junk room!
We eventually needed to use this room in our home and make it functional again. I remember I would walk into this room, I would think, there is so much mess in here, where do I start? A part of the room had boxes stacked almost floor to ceiling. It was so overwhelming.
If you are like me, you could get distracted by a million things to do with no guidance in mind. It is easy to become indecisive and quit before much was accomplished. Cleaning the whole room seemed like too much.
Break your tasks into smaller focus areas
If I was ever going to get this room cleaned up, I would have to break it into smaller pieces and focus on one area and one smaller project at a time.
By tasking smaller projects and focusing on one task each day, allowed me to declutter and clean up a room in 2-3 days.
The same is true for most of our goals and priorities in life, too. When we look at the big picture, it can be overwhelming, but if we start breaking it into smaller pieces, we will see how we can reach our goals and priorities.
Why choose a Daily One Focus?
When you have a long to-do list, it’s can feel nice to “check-off” the items. In that you might find those bigger tasks you want, don’t get checked off that often. We are just “checking-off” the to-do list.
Just as I chose a daily task to focus on when I cleaned up the room, with the Daily One Focus, you will decide what is your most important priority each day and focus your energy on getting this priority or task done.
By having a Daily One Focus, each day you are able to make progress toward your goals. You are taking steps toward the completion of a bigger project or task.
Just like I did when I cleaned out the room. If I had not decided to focus on one smaller task at a time, that room would probably still be a junk room.
Even though you feel like having a daily focus makes you less productive. You will begin to see over time you are tackling your big projects. Plus, reaching your goals one at a time.
How do you choose a Daily One Focus?
I use a method I call The Smart Five. It’s a series of 5 questions I ask myself in a journal format that helps me define what will be my main focus and top priority. Each day as I decide my top priority, I consider my weekly goals, monthly goals or yearly goals.
With my goals in mind, I choose a Daily One Focus. What can I do today to move forward toward completing one of these bigger goals?
Questions to ask yourself for the day
You start by choosing a word for the day. You choose a word that inspires you, but also a word that works with one of your overall goals. For example, with my example above about decluttering and cleaning the room. My word for the day might be, organize or clean.
Next, you take a few minutes and visualize your day and what will happen when you complete your task. I would visualize the room being cleaned or set-up with a new design and new furniture. Visualizing helps you make things happen.
Third, ask yourself, “What inspires and energizes me today?” You might want to tackle a room, or maybe do some re-design, or even cleaning.
Fourth, define your Daily One Focus. What is the one task you want to focus on today?
Five, write down how you will accomplish today’s Daily One Focus. Make clear steps and tasks you need to complete today to accomplish your Daily One Focus.
Once you have your inspiration (your daily word and vision) and your Daily One Focus and your action steps, it’s time to get to work.
Daily projects, work, and more.
You can use The Smart Five for goals and tasks you personally want to accomplish or for tasks and projects at home or as a project management plan in your daily work.
How to be more productive in a day
Before you plan your Daily One Focus, you need a 2 or 3 big goals or dreams you are working toward. These goals and dreams can be anything you want them to be. We all have different goals and plans.
Take a few minutes to write down what you want to accomplish in the next week, next month or even the next year.
Work Towards Goals
Then, using the Daily One Focus and The Smart Five you can start to progress toward your goals. When you stop trying to do everything at one time and just do one thing at a time, you will be surprised how many more you are able to get done.
You are invited to get your own copy of The Smart Five Daily Productivity Plan here.
About the Author:
Rachel Newcomb blogs at Smart Mom Smart Ideas where she writes about home organization, time management, parenting, motherhood, and work/life balance. You will find many articles to help you have an organized home, balanced family and focused life. She enjoys reading, writing, and spending time with family.