The older I get and the busier I am, the more my mommy-add kicks in. I do my best to stay focused, but during weeks like the last few (end of school year / all the activities) when there’s so much on my plate, it’s easy to lose track, forget about things…or arrive late to an appointment or carpool. Anytime I have a spare moment at home, without the kids here to distract me, I squeeze in as many to-do’s as possible. And a lot of those happen in my office / on the computer. But in the process of trying to eek out every spare second, I occasionally push myself to the point of being late. Then when I return to my desk, whatever I was working on is long forgotten.
Matter of fact, a few weeks ago TWO times in a row I was late to carpool. So late my kids were sent to after school care. Not an problem, I’m covered and know the kids will always be ok if I’m late, but being late is not something I’m striving for. Both times it was due to sitting at my computer trying to wrap up e-mails / client work. I even had my timer set, pushed it off and kept working…saying to myself “just a couple seconds more then I’ll be done and on my way”. Suddenly it was 3:10. Well past the time I should have been in the car on my way. I think I’m in that mode of the school year ending and trying to make the most of every quiet second, but the action results in an e-mail that sounded rushed. Or worse yet, when I stop mid-whatever…I come back to my desk having long forgotten where I left off.
This week I reminded myself of a productivity tip I’ve used in the past to help stay on task and give me the confidence to walk away knowing exactly where I left off. This is such a simple tip, but it works!
All you need it a note pad or sticky-note…nothing fancy.
When you need to absolutely walk away from your task – in the middle of it or if you have a thought as to where you want to pick up from when you return – just note it down on your pad of paper and walk away.
Next time I sit down at my computer, “that school e-mail” will be the first thing I either finish up or start / send off. Doing this gives me the confidence of knowing when I’m back at my desk it will in fact get done. I know I won’t forget about it…and I think that’s the biggest struggle / why I’ve been late those couple times. I believe I’m going to forget and lose track so I just get through the task…but then I’m late. Ugh!
I kicked myself this week for having let this little idea slip my mind. So I pulled out a cute notepad I found during the Christmas season last year and it’s sitting pretty on my desk now. I need it right under my nose, so I let the pad just sit here until I return.
Do you find yourself doing the same thing? I hope this easy tip will help you stay on task moving forward!
p.s. THANK YOU so much for all the amazing responses to my survey. I’ve been absolutely stunned by your responses, which have all been taken to heart. Also can’t believe the number of readers that have been here from the beginning – WOW! Thank you! I thank you for being so candid…am very open to constructive criticism and you have been warm and friendly with yours. No offense taken…and SO amazed to know who my readers are / what you’re wanting more of in the future. Safe to say I had a few things figured out completely wrong. Can’t wait to share the results, clear up the “why’s” a few of you asked and get going on some very fun future blog posts! It was also interesting how some questions elicited a completely split decision. 49% vs 49% – so so interesting! I’m going to leave the survey open for a while, so if you haven’t completed it, you can do so right here! Thanks again you guys!
Love this idea and the whole post in general! Love that you share the problem, the reason behind the issue and how to fix the issue while also sharing how it effects your family. Much more personal. 🙂 THANK YOU!
Awe! So glad you love the idea and thank you so much for the feedback!
I do this also. Sometimes in the afternoons I’ll be working on a blog post and lose track of time. When I glance at the clock and see that it’s time to start dinner and I don’t want to lose my rain of thought, I write on a post it what my next task is and then I can easily continue after dinner where I left off. I love your blog and this is a great post.