Friday, July 25, 2014

Staying focused throughout the day - here is an advice

As you can see on my blog and YouTube channel, I am recommending OneNote to manage your notes and your tasks. Your OneNote list or the list in the tool of your choice can be a long list. You can have a long overall backlog list, and  in your weekly planning you could have also a relatively long weekly list. You can even go as far as maintaining your daily tasks in your choice of tool.

That's good to have, but specifically having your daily list on your computer would not necessarily help you staying focused because of multiple windows open on your screen and having that email client there to distract you as well. Distractions are everywhere with the technology these days.

What I find very help in staying focus and constantly reminding me about my tasks for the current day is the following:
  • Get a small piece of paper or one of those small paper cards (3-4" long and 2-3" wide)
  • Every morning (or the night before), put your day's tasks on this paper.
  • Put a list that is realistic/slightly-optimistic and commit to it
  • Include your personal list as well because you have life outside work as well

Now that you have your current day tasks on this small piece of paper, keep it next to your keyboard on your desk and you can also carry it with you to meetings. It is constantly reminding you what this list is as you get interruptions throughout the day, and you will get interruptions :)

It has been working for me because I am managing a huge list of tasks as a technical lead and staying focused on your current day's work is crucial. It also makes you feel that you accomplished something as you mark those tasks completed on that piece of paper. Then at the end of the day, you can update the soft copy of your tasks in the tool of your choice. The next day you start the process again on a new piece of paper.

I picked up a lot of those ideas by reading about GTD, Franklin Covey systems and attending different training sessions. Then I customized it and set up a system for myself. I hope you can find this advice useful. We are not all the same and that's why customization is important.

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#tech #taskmanagement #focus #stayingfocused #management #organization #GTD #FranklinCovey


  1. Hey I just found out about your blogsite and your youtube videos recently, and I find them really helpful staying organized! Thanks and keep up the good work
    -Vincent T.