Losing Focus on Your Business? Don’t Be Discouraged, It Happens To Us All

Sitting at my desk staring at a piece of paper where I wrote down some notes, then looking up at the computer screen blankly not really reading what is on it and not knowing why I was even on that “website” – suddenly the phone rings and snaps me out of this “foggy” work state. I pick up the phone and jump into action talking to the person on the other end but I am not feeling the conversation – I hang up and I am back to not really knowing what I was doing before the phone call happened… sound familiar?

Is something wrong with me? Am I the only person this happens to? NO and NO

Focus…

I am the type of person that is up EARLY, between 4 and 5 am.  I work on my blog, do a short exercise like 30 mins, take kids to school, do my personal reading, check email/voicemail for a couple clients, make bed, straighten last minute stuff in the kitchen shower then by 8am I am ready to WORK.  Most people tell me I put in a full day before I even turn on the “open” sign.

Some days and even some weeks I lose my “mojo”!  I lose my focus.  I find myself not knowing what I need to do next but most I have lost my focus and seem to be wondering in my office.  My productivity level plummets and I am off track!  I then find myself upset that nothing is getting done and any of my little bit of productivity is then GONE!

Losing Focus Happens To The Best Of Us!

When things like that happen I have to stop and look at how long I have been working without taking a day for myself.  How long was I burning the candle at both ends?  How many people was I supporting (clients, kids, husband, family, pets) emotionally and task wise and not looking at what I needed?  No wonder my focus on my business had disappeared for a bit!

Keeping a steady stream of focus on your business is doable as long as you are remembering to keep a balance in your life.  Keeping a steady stream of focus on your business as long as you have structure to your days and a working process with productive procedures!  Most importantly keeping a steady stream of focus on your business is doable when you enlist “help” when you need it!

Stay Focused With Some Help!

When I talk about help – it means a couple of things…

Keeping Focus with support staff – this can be actual “staff” or “Virtual Assistants staff”.  Use some assistance to get tasks completed – they can focus on individual tasks that need to be done allowing you to stay focused on the bigger picture.  As the little tasks get completed you are moving closer to building your empire and it frees you up to continue the focus on your structure and where to build on it next!

Keeping Focus with the support of an Accountability Group or Mastermind Group “FOCUS GROUPS” – Have a group of people that are “your trusted advisers” is awesome!  This is something I love being a part of.  My businesses would not be where they are today without the support of my Accountability Group/Mastermind Group.  Being part of a group like this is not only inspiring but the focus is intense!  We all have a little ADD in us, being part of a group like this gives us the OK to focus on something else, someone else and help but keep our productive creative juices flowing!  NO BUSINESS IS TOO SMALL TO BE IN A GROUP LIKE THIS.  Granted there are some “focus” groups that are for bigger business but you can find one to fit your business.  If you cannot create one of your own with the people you are always asking advice from and giving advice too!  That is what you re doing already just not in a formal setting.

Staying Focused Is A Team Effort!

Even solo-preneurs should have a team.  Find people to work with, talk with, share ideas with so you are not always doing it alone.  Focus is a hard thing to hold onto all by yourself and just because you own your own business does not mean you have to carry it  by yourself!


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Finish It Friday ~ Network Marketing, 3 Things NOT To Do In Your Business

Finish It Friday – The end of the what most of us call “the work week”.  How did you do this week?  Did you keep up with your projects and tasks?  Did you complete what you wanted to this week?  In our program, The Weekly Productivity Program – today is our day to finish any stragglers of “todos” on our lists and end our day early if everything noted for this week is completed!  We also make sure we have a “personal reward” planned for a week of jobs well done and achievements made!   We hope you did awesome and are here to support you if you had problems with time management or prioritizing your tasks/projects – you are welcome to always contact us for advice! (you can also leave comments and we are happy to get back to you)

Network Marketing is a business with fabulous opportunity!

Every network marketing company has a product or service that is one of the best, this is true for the most part.  They do have great products and services compared to most you buy or use from the commercial stores.  This is great!  I would say they live by a different set of standards in their world of products and services since their company’s success is reliant on word of mouth and individuals creating “believers” out of the community.  When joining a network marketing company it is important that you are sure it is a fit for you – your beliefs, your goods/service standards and that it will fit into your life since you are suppose to be a product of the product/service and use it!

Every network marketing company has a compensation plan for the people who join their “team”. There are different compensation plans out there so be sure when you are researching what opportunity is best for you that the compensation plan also fits! Understand the payouts and the way they are calculated… you can read more on network marketing compensation plans here…

Direct Sales a type of Network Marketing…

Direct sales is a network marketing opportunity though some do not feel it is.  Direct sales is more in the “party plan” model of network marketing – the concept, compensation, and products/services are still in line with network marketing.  Direct Sales gives you another outlet to your income stream in the fact you can have “customers” and not just downline.

It is important that when you start or work in Network Marketing/Direct Sales you follow some “rules” and know what you should not do….

Here are 5 Things You Should Not Do In Network Marketing…

  • You Don’t Have To Know Everything About Your Network Marketing Business…. too many times people jump into a network marketing opportunity and feel they  have to know EVERYTHING before they go out and share their opportunity – WRONG – when you start out you are excited and energized, use that momentum to share your story or opportunity with others.  Count on your experienced successful upline to know more of the facts when it comes to need to talk more detailed with people.  You do not want to spend a ton of time learning every fact, figure or statistic about the company and product – this could not only take too much time away from actually recruiting but can also be intimidating to your potential recruit and can be come not something they feel they can duplicate – keep it simple and go out while you are excited!
  • Don’t use impersonal “hyped” mass emails to recruit or share your network marketing message/opportunity! Too many people are using email technology for the wrong reasons….  even though you can send a mass email to tons of people at once does not mean you should!  Sending out emails that are like “You don’t want to miss this ground breaking opportunity.  Sign up today while we are in the “basement” and you can make millions of dollars.  This is the first of its kind.  This opportunity has a compensation plan like no others!” and so on – you get the point.  You will turn people off from the start – mass emailing should be left for more personal messages (doing this via video email is best) – it should not be used to recruit or build your business but more to educate or just say HI how can I help!  If you are in the health side of network marketing share health tips your company shares with you – if you are in food side of network marketing share recopies your company shares with you – if you are in technology side of network marketing share tutorials or tips your company shares with you…. be a giver without expecting to get!
  • Don’t be so aggressive when sharing your network marketing opportunity.  You do need to be

    confident when you share your opportunity but take the time to read the signs from your “prospect” – are they asking questions – be sure to answer them or at least promise to get them the answer if you do not have it.  Be sure in your conversation it is the right time to recruit them – like did you answer their questions so they can make an informed decision for themselves?  Be sure you are choosing people you want on your team – who will actually be building a business as opposed to someone who you will need to hold their hand every step of the way.  Are they motivated?  If you “convince or talk someone into joining” they are probably not the best downline for you.  SO don’t go out to sign anyone and everyone up – it could be your down fall.

The key is to not allow yourself to get frustrated.  Network Marketing and Direct Sales opportunities, while they are great opportunities, they are still a lot of work.  It is not different than any other job out there. You have to put in your time, sweat and even tears – but there is a great pay off.  Be sure to be connected with great trainers, even if they are not with your particular company, their message, know how tips, and stories can help you succeed!  IF you have picked the company that fits you right – stay with it – there will be valleys and up hill journeys but the view from the top is wonderful when you stick it out.  Giving up should not be in your vocabulary!  Find a mentor, an accountability partner and work it out – it is all achievable as long as you are willing to put in the hard work!


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Work It Wednesday ~ How You Can Focus on Your Business And Find A Balance

Work It Wednesday ~ Today is the day of the week we put our head down and focus on getting a lot done.  It is also the day where you can find yourself hitting the slow down in your motivation and your focus can be distracted easily.  Power through it!  Keep focused on crossing a lot off with your Finish It Friday and your personal reward in sight at all times!

Staying Focused Can Be A Challenge…

As business owners, Small Business – Home Based Business – Network Marketers, staying focused can be a challenge.  When we go into business for ourselves we still have life going on around us.  When you become your own boss, you are thought to have a more flexible schedule than those with a traditional job/career in your circles (family and friends).  As much as that is true it is false at the same time.  Though you do not have a boss, office manager or corporate America telling what to do and when to do it, you actually have MORE responsibility.  The weight of success vs failure solely rests on your shoulders along with all of your other responsibilities in life – they are all distractions you can easily get absorbed into and loose focus on YOUR BUSINESS.

Distractions you might get lost in are… family, “having a fun day”, phone calls, cleaning, paying bills, running errands, television, visitors/guests, kid’s school, and more!

We all went into business for our own reasons.  These reasons are important to us and to our families.  We have to remember without focus and discipline in getting “work” things done, our success will hang in the balance.  Focus and discipline is easy when we work for someone else because we are held accountable on our tasks and responsibilities on a daily manner – but working for ourselves with no one looking over our shoulder it is harder to be accountable to what HAS to get done.

Staying Focused…

  1. You have your WHY – the reason you wanted to be your own boss.  What is that?  Is it worth you being focused everyday? Be sure to have a visual of that WHY where you can see it.  Create a collage of images, maybe it is family, traveling, free time, no boss and so on – what every it is have a visual reminder where you can see it in your workspace.  I also suggest keeping a visual copy on the front of your time management tool – like your Tickler File.
  2. You have to set “work hours”.  You need time you can count of being “focused”. This needs to be shared with your family, friends, down line, team and if you are like me in a service providing career with your clients/customers.  If you have small children you are responsible for working from home this is a bit more flexible with them but everyone else should be able to respect those as they would any other place of business.
  3. Don’t kid yourself, having your own business and being your own boss – you have a JOB – you are just running the show and make up the rules!  Staying focused is even more important now than ever.  You and your family along with your business rely on you.  This is where discipline and focus is so important.  In the beginning while you are still building your business foundation, you might have to make personal sacrifices and miss out on things so that you are setting up for success. Determination!
  4. Time management/Structure – having a clear layout of time allotted for certain tasks is a MUST like Social Media – set aside like 30 mins a day, emails – set aside 30 mins in the morning and 30 mins at the close of the day to check and follow up on emails, call returns – pick a time of the day you can sit down and just focus on calls you need to make.  Having time specifically ear-marked for tasks that can be time sucks allows you to be focused and get them done!  Get them Crossed Off your daily todos!  When you get things done you are motivated to do MORE!  Keep milestones for daily activities – monthly achievements – annual goals
  5. If you find that you are spending too much time on doing non-productive tasks – delegate them.  Find a VA service like VA-a-GoGo or a team member that can take over doing those tasks and stay focused on the tasks only YOU can do in building your business.  Things like training a new recruit, following up on new downline, keeping your database up to date, formatting and sending your newsletter, setting up your appointments and so on…. there are several tasks you can get help with that take too much of your focus off of building your business foundation.  This is true for ANY business!
  6. Be sure to reward yourself as you focus and reach your milestones, achievements, goals.  Even the smallest job well done IS A JOB WELL DONE!  Celebrate it.  Reward yourself and remember to set rewards that the family can enjoy with you at times – they are in in it too!

Finding and Keeping a Balance While Staying Focused!

It is hard to always be focused on your business.  When you make the rules it is hard to hold yourself accountable.  Keeping a balance between work and the freedom you wanted and became your own boss for is tough.  It is so easy to say “I’ll do it later” and then take off to play – on the flip side it is so easy to stay so buried in your business that you never take off to play…  How do you keep focused on your business and still have a balance between life and work?

Be sure to focus on the right stuff!  Is it the money that is your focus?  Is it your family that is your focus?  Is it the prestige that is your focus?  Is it the I Can Do It How I Want To Do It you are focused on?  Is it the freedom you are focused on? To be honest is should not be any ONE of these – your focus should be the combination of  ALL of these.  With a well rounded why and focus, you can build a structure that can support achieving all of these in your life.  The key to keeping balance while staying focused is a clean structure to how you do things.  Be organized. Take it serious. Take pride in what you do.  Your focus will be where it needs to be following a structure.


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Tackle It “Tool” Tuesday ~ Tools and Resources, Do You Have Too Many or Not Enough?

Tackle It “Tool” Tuesday – today in our Weekly Productivity Program we focus on tackling a task or a project we have been putting off – sometimes this happens to be a resource we purchased to use in our business or a tool of some sort to help with marketing, social media, organization and we are excited we have it but totally avoid jumping in to use it.  Take today to focus on one of those and figure it out so you can start using resources and tools you have bought.

Are you a collector of resources & tools?

There are many times we as business owners, internet marketers – network marketers – brick and mortar store owners, attend seminars or trainings.  We learn not only what other business owners that are in the same line of business we are in use but what the trainers are teaching about and it sounds SOOOO cool and we are not using it that we “gotta have it”, right?  I know I have collected my share.  How about you?

Did you buy that trainer’s resource book or set of CD’s because it was going to walk you through this “system” or teach you a new approach, a must have resource?  How about the ones that are “coaching platforms” that walk you through the resources without the speaker/trainer being involved like a membership platform?  Or you read about this new tool for email marketing or social media management and you had to have it!

It is very easy to – get caught up in what these speakers/trainers are saying and the resources/training tools they are offering.  It is even easier to read about resources/tools on the internet watch a video and decide you have to have that now. No blame at all – we all have done it and still do it to some extent today.

We tend to feel if I have the right resource/tool my business will soar!

WRONG! It is not if you HAVE the right resource or tool it is if you USE the right resource/tool!

It is important as business owners ANY type of business owner that you keep that in perspective when you are purchasing training tools/resources or business tools/resources that you must USE them.  Being a “collector” will not explode your business.

How do you go into “Resource & Tool” Collector Recovery??

You start today… make a list of all of the resources and tools you have and can find.  On the list separate them in categories like training materials and training programs vs actual resources you can implement and use the tool.  Then clean up the list and create new lists – with the ones that you have a monthly billing associated with them at the top of the list and to dollar amount you are paying monthly with the ones you own outright on the bottom of the list.  Next to each resource/tool write a brief description of what it is and what you can learn or use it for.

Once the list is created – review it.  What of the monthly “paying” items are you currently using – hi light them green because you are actually using them! Great job!  What of the monthly “paying” tools/resources are you NOT using and have or have not touched – hi light them orange (closest hi lighter to red).  Now go down to the items that you own that  do not have any billing associated with them – if you have read or used that tool/resource again hi light those green and the ones that are still in the box they came in or have not even been reviewed, used, touched or put into motion hi light them orange.

Review your list – is it more green or more orange?  Mine some time back was definitely more ORANGE!  I loved collecting those resources and tools. I was addicted to it not unlike collecting all those stickers and bonding agents that were so cool for scrap booking, oh don’t get my husband started on my stamp collection too – they were tools I had to have!

Once I took the time to go through all of the business materials/tools/resources I had and organize them this way it was clear to see what types of tools/resources I would not ever use.  I could evaluate what kinds of resources/tools “spoke” to me and I enjoyed reading or using and what kinds I actually was intimidated by and avoided trying to use them.

From this list I sat down and created two more lists from the orange hi lighted ones – items I would share or give away to other business owners notating what I was going to do with a S for Share and a GA for Give Away and tools/resources I wanted to try and use.  I then numbered the tools/resources I wanted to use in the order I was going to commit to learning them/reading them/putting them into motion. It was cool!

For the ones I listed as “share or give away”, first I spoke to my inner circle people to see if they wanted any of these tools/resources and got a commitment from them they would either use it or give it back – when all of those were distributed, I then took what I had to my networking meetings and shared – gave them away there with the same requirement that they would commit to using them of give them back – what was left from there I donated to the local library!

It was awesome to feel the weight of those “oh I need to still read this, or start this, or learn this too” all cleaned out and narrowed down to what I would actually use and read!

Evaluation of your resource and tool collection also makes it clear…

By reviewing your initial hi-lighted list you can see a pattern of types of resources and tools that really speak to you and you take advantage of and those kinds you don’t.  By reviewing the list you commit to learning or reading that tool or resource you can also see what kinds of tools and resources you feel are important.  This allows you now to be a smarter shopper when you are at seminars and training events – is what the speaker trainer offering a fit for you?  I am sure it is a great product but does that type of tool/resource fit with what you will use and implement? Be sure it will and your purchases will go a lot further in helping to explode your business!

Resources and Tools are a MUST for business owners and successful people!

Don’t stop getting your resources and tools – just be sure to USE them!  All successful business owners from Trump through your local successful business owner all use, read and rely on resources/tools and training materials. They are avid readers and dedicate time set aside for not only using tools and resources but for personal development – how about you?  They have grown by the knowledge they have taken in over the years and it is something as BUSY solo-preneurs  we too have to be in the habit of taking and setting that time aside for this as well.  BUT remember it is only valuable when you implement what you are learning!


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Monetize Monday – we say here at Wealth And Abundance Today that Monetizing is not always considered revenue.  Everyone gains from relationships built and bonds made and friendships created – we love to count that as our assets in life.  How are you doing really getting to know your clientele? Not only on Mondays do we start our week by following up on invoices or finishing up proposals to generate revenue for our business, we also take time to ring in the week making friends and following up on those we have not spoken to in some time.  We like to see what they are doing now or send them a smile – we love using the tool SendOutCards and now that they have come out with a “user” package for people in makes it super simple for others to use this terrific tool as well!

To get started this week we challenge you to meet 3 new people and follow up with them starting to build new relationships– you can meet these people online, in a networking environment, or even out running errands.  Start out by getting to know them!  Maybe this is someone you have seen around many times before – commenting on someone else social media updates, or a dynamic business person you felt you could reach out to or someone who was always in the same place you were around town – the point is to finally make contact and begin to build a relationship.

Relationships start slow…

As a business owner you know how to network – but do you really get in there for the relationship investment?  Do you set yourself up to be in locations where you can build relationships?  Building relationships takes time and should start slow – first part is making contact.  Don’t let anyone intimidate you into NOT meeting them.  OK so most people don’t intimidate us – we get intimidated by who or what they are – Go For It!  They are people doing business and would love to meet you too!  You have a lot to offer people.

Start slow – say HI and find out what you can about them.  You don’t have to talk about your business right off the get go.  Hint – if this is a person that is active in your community or is high visibility and you know ahead of time they are going to be where you are, do a little research about them so you can ask them questions about stuff going on with them.  IF you have a smart phone and you just saw them at an event – excuse yourself to go outside or in the restroom and do a quick search – people are impressed if you take a bit of time to know about them prior to meeting them – you put in an effort.

Relationships are built one floor at a time…

Relationships are like life structures – you start with the foundation which was your hello and first encounter – then follow it up with great building materials!  Strong follow up!  Again using a tool like SendOutCards is great because it can be a private heart felt message regarding your meeting and some key points about getting to know them more.  You also have the opportunity to send them a small gift or use it as a personal invite for coffee.  There are several tools you can use to make your second contact – I just recommend not using email to follow up in a meaningful manner – everyone in business today has an overflowing inbox and not only can your message get lost or sent to spam it can also be “more work” for that person.  (if it has to be email first – use Video Email, it is a lot more personal)  Following up right after you meet with a heart felt message will build the ground floor of your relationship.  Then you move on to building your relationship structure as high and with as many floors as you wish it to have – with each floor being built with investments from you.  How many “sound structures” can you build without investments? NONE and relationships REAL relationships are no different.

Relationships are meaningful and should be a way of not only doing business but a way of life!

Relationships benefit everyone involved.  When you get to know someone and invest in them, you get to know what their business needs are or who they might like to get to know.  You can help them as a friend create relationships they had been needing or looking for.  You might say – everything you are saying here is ME doing the work, ME building the relationship – what are they doing.  In all honesty it does not matter what they are doing – if this is a relationship you wanted to make you are doing something that was important to you…. but it usually works this way.  People who are in a “relationship” tend to look out for each other.  The relationship is a mutual benefit to you both.  The key is to never go into a relationship with the mindset of what YOU are going to get out of knowing this person or being seen with this person.  A true relationship is one of no expectation.

Is a certain Relationship a great investment?

When creating relationships, you do want to make sure you are not allowing yourself to be walked all over or used as a doormat. In the prior paragraph we mention not to have expectations from a relationship, while that is true, you do need to evaluate the person you are building this relationship structure with and be sure they are building with integrity.  They might not be sending referrals your way or making connections with people you would like to get to know – BUT are they building from a place of genuineness?  If this is a person that turns you down for coffee but then calls you for an introduction or a “favor” one too many times that person might not be “sound structure” material and not someone you want to invest a lot of relationship building materials in.  Your relationship structure may be only 3 floors high BUT other people you meet and build relationship structures with might be 10+ floors high – do protect yourself from being taken advantage of.

Business Relationships…

Taking the time to get to know people and build relationships is the best part of business.  We spend so much of our time working, why not do it with friends?  Be a good person a caring person in the relationship and if the other person is wanting the same they will reciprocate the efforts!  Enjoy getting to know people and investing in their growth and success it is returned to you 10 fold!


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Throw It Out Thursday ~ We seemed to get so bogged down and overwhelmed by the amount of things we have to do each day.  As solo-preneurs or owners of the brick and mortar business we have a lot more on our “get’er done” lists than most.  We are responsible for not only every day tasks/projects but we are responsible for the team below us completing theirs, securing revenue, client/customer relations, growing the business, along with all of the household and family stuff too – all of them “todos”!

There was a time when being our own boss was appealing – no one telling us what to do, when to do it, and even how to do it but when all of the weight is on our shoulders we tend to look back and go boy it was easier back then!

We have talked all week about todo lists – getting organized.  Trust me as you move into a structure with a plan and organization, you will find what you were looking for when you went into business for yourself.

ToDo Lists should not weigh you down – they should be your structure – your path –

your rungs on the ladder!

You should look at your ToDo list as your blueprint for the day.  If you manage your business in a manner that you are not spending your days putting out fires but schedule things you have the control over your life and business world you always wanted.  The trick is to have a structure, to follow that structure, and to know that every great business man/business woman had structure to building their success – to what level you need is up to you.

Organize those ToDos!

We have talked a lot this week about your todo list and creating a system is a must in business today.  We recommend the Tickler File.  Once you have your system together, no matter what it is, review your todos.  Do you have them prioritized?  The key is that you NEVER over commit on your list of todos for the day – you want to schedule out projects and todos in a way that your list can be completed.  As you get comfortable in a pattern of working and completing your committed todos you can add onto it slowly to build up completing more and more. BUT remember built into your todo system is a reward time where you acknowledge the great job you are doing and you take time to do something for you as a reward.  In our Weekly Productivity Program, we have that on Finish It Friday. We encourage you to set your weekly reward and actually ENJOY it when the time comes!

What to Throw Away on your ToDo List…

Are there items on there that have been on your todo list (on paper or on your mind) since the “beginning of time” and you are still carrying them around?  Where did they fall in the prioritizing you did from above?  Are they high on the list or lowest on the totem-pole?  For those that are lowest, evaluate them…  Why have you not done them yet? Do they really matter?  Will it make a big difference if you do it or not? If it will make a big difference then I suppose it should not be lowest on your totem-pole, right?

Take that todo and scratch it off – get rid of it – throw it out.  You carry a lot of weight keeping things that do not really matter to your business success or growth around.  A lot of times todos you have carried for awhile are no longer the “current” thing to do or are really no longer relevant.

By crossing that todo off your list you will find weight lifted from you.  A sense of relief!  You can always “schedule” to reassess the need for that todo when you have time to focus on it.

Keep your daily/weekly todo lists simple and doable!

Keeping your todo lists “doable” and not over committing allows you to reap the rewards of a day well done.  We tend, as business owners, to think we have to do it all TODAY and everything is on our todo list all of the time. This leads to a feeling of failure and overwhelm. Do not make the mistake on taking on too much everyday – being a success is having control over the growth and what you HAVE to complete.  Do not let the fact you want it ALL NOW guide you to feelings of frustration.  Manage your todo list in a way where you are making progress everyday!

Make your todo list your friend not the dreaded enemy and work with it not against it.  Structure does not have to be a bad thing!


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Work It Wednesday ~ Lists Lists and More Lists! Are You A List Hoarder?

Work It Wednesday ~ In our Weekly Productivity Program today is the day of the week we focus on WORK ING OUR LIST.  Putting the proverbial “nose to the grind stone”!  It is such a relief to get through a lot of the tasks or mini-projects on your list that stack up fast because you put them off but really do not take a lot of time to complete, like returning phone calls, filing, invoicing, cleaning the email inbox and so on.  When you get these kinds of tasks done and “crossed off” you are motivated to sail through the rest of the week with Finish It Friday in sight and the personal reward you set for yourself!

Tracking Your To-dos With a List…

list To-Do Lists!

Having a place where you write down your “to-dos” is very important.  You might be a digital person and prefer to keep them on your computer either in Excel, Word, Evernote or a calendaring program like Google Calendar with their task section.  I prefer to have it written out on paper so no matter where I go I have it and I can CROSS THINGS OFF.  You body responds to physically crossing things off a list when they are done better than if you were to “digitally” check it off.  There is a release of endorphins, a positive feeling,  and a sense of accomplishment when you can actually with a pen cross things off your list.

Lists Lists and More Lists…

How many lists of things to do do you have? Do you use stickies everywhere, little pieces of paper, several different note books, your memory or the computer OR do you do anything to track your lists of to-dos?  How many lists should you have?

Well the first thing, in order to be productive, you must be or get organized with your to-do list(s).  Using stickies, little pieces of paper or several notebooks is not productive.  Have one central place to keep your to-do list.  This takes building that habit of writing them in that place no matter what and always going back to it to review them.  We recommend the Tickler File – it is an easy system to work with and very easy to set up.

Some people have several to-do lists – one for home, one for family, one for business (and if they have more than one business, there is a list for each business), and one to track big projects. Being productive you will want to find a way that works for you to have these all in one place – color coding works well in the Tickler File – using different colors of papers for each kind of to-do list keeps them together but separate.  It is important to keep your “looking” for things to a minimum that is why having them in one place is a helpful thing to your day.

How many lists are too many?  This I can say will go into a personal preference category.  I would suggest to minimize the amount of lists you have going – that just gives you one more thing to track – maybe combine family and home lists if you have them separate now.  Come up with a coding system so you can differentiate them from one another on that list so you can write them down together knowing they are different.  For example, I have one list to track my client to-dos, I put their initial in front of the task so I know who it is for.  If it is a MUST PRIORITY that day I asterisk it too.  I start my day with all the asterisks and then move through my to-do list.

Are You a List Hoarder?

What do yo not want to become is a List Hoarder….  This is a person that has lists everywhere but never looks at them, never crosses anything off, and then one of the tasks becomes going through your task to-do list piles to see what has been done and what was forgotten!  What a complete waste of time!! If you do this, commit to stop doing it and work on a better way to spend your time.

Find That System For Your To-Do Lists!

Finding a system to work with in being organized is the first hurdle to being more productive.  Again, we recommend the Tickler File system – it is easy, expandable, mobile, and customizable.  Our productivity clients have raved about how it has changed how they do things now and they get a lot more done in a week.  The important thing is you find a system to keep your lists.

Once you have your system picked – next is to put it into place. Remember, starting any new system takes building a habit – do not get discouraged if you forget to go back to your to-do list every time – just work at making it a habit to get into.  You should be sure to review the list every night prior to ending your day and making sure your to-do lists are set up for the next morning.

The key is progress in your productivity!

“Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort.”

 Paul J. Meyer quotes


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