See that photo up there?
sanctuary office. The desk has changed a little bit, I’ve added a salt lamp to help with the juju and I’ve tidied up those cables (yeah, they’re annoying me too). But it’s still where I spend a lot, but not all, of my free time.
So for any of you that don’t know, I’ve got a few things on my plate. I run my brand design business, I have a husband and a one year old, I have a great social life, a regular meditation practice and I’m writing a book. Oh and I live on the other side of the globe from any family support. And no I don’t work every hour that God sends. The reason I tell you this is because I often get asked how I juggle all of these things at once.
I’ve built up systems and hacks that you would not believe in order to squeeze the life out of, well, life.
And I’d love to share some of them with you here, if you’re interested that is.
So here’s my absolute, very number one-est, most number 1 simple way to stop getting distracted online…
You know the thing you do where you open up a window to start writing a blog post, then you remember that you need to pay your phone bill so you immediately click away to do that because it’s urgent, then you see your phone provider has a viral video up, so you watch that and decide TOO hilarious not to share it on Facebook, the next thing you know you’re down the Facebook rabbit hole and you have no idea why or how you got there?
Uh-huh. We’ve all been there many times.
So here’s my technique:
Grab a block of sticky notes and a pen, then place them directly above your mouse (or whichever hand you write with). At the top of that first sticky note write the words “LATER LIST”.
This little notepad is then going to be your catch all for every single thing that you think “Oh I must do that now”. Every time you find yourself distracted opening a new tab, or even so much as thinking about opening a new tab, write the reason down on your LATER LIST. No matter what it is, or how urgent it might seem… It goes on the LATER LIST. Then, you can rest safe in the knowledge that your ‘urgent’ distraction has been documented and that you will get to it later. This works for three reasons…
1. It stops the ‘I’ll just do that now’ mentality that fools us into thinking things are urgent (when it’s incredibly more likely not that urgent and can wait and hour or two).
2. It provides a safe place to capture all the open loops of tasks in your head, freeing up mental bandwidth to focus on the task at hand.
3. Once your important tasks are finished, you get to return to the LATER LIST to tackle all of those niggling, tempting tasks, giving you the procrastination gratification AS WELL AS the feel good hit of having finished the actually important stuff.
I’d love to hear in the comments whether these kinds of tips and tricks are something you’d like to see more of around here. I have a ton that all work together like a little silent army to make my life run as smooth as possible and knock as much out of the time that I have. This is but a snippet.
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