The ability to stay focused and productive are critical skills to have, no matter what area of your life you want to see progress and fruit in.
When you focus, you enable yourself to be more productive. When you’re productive, you can reach your goals quicker than you expected.
Here are three daily habits that help me stay focused and productive:
(1) Create tomorrow’s to-do list the night before
I’ve found that if I create tomorrow’s to-do list the night before, I am much more productive the following day. When I can wake up the next morning, open up Evernote (where my to-do lists reside), and get straight to work, I get into the ‘flow’ much quicker and am way more productive.
Also, with to-do lists, start each ‘to-do item’ with an action verb and make it specific. Specificity gives your mind clarity; vagueness makes the mind foggy.
To-Do List Example: design new banner ad graphic in Illustrator by noon today.
(2) Have a start time and end time for each task
A timeframe helps you stay focused and motivated by (a) forcing you to complete a task within a specific window of time, and (b) it gives you peace of mind knowing that a task won’t take up more time than you want it to.
I usually put my time limit in parenthesis next to my ‘action-verb-specific’ task. I also use a timer on my mac that automatically notifies me when my time limit for that task is up.
Example: (25) design new banner ad graphic in Illustrator by noon today.
(3) Read at least 15 minutes in morning
Because I read books on topics I find interesting, reading in the morning engages and motivates my brain. This wakes me up and excites me about the day ahead – both of which help me focus and be productive.
Whether you apply the above three habits or not, the key is to develop productive habits: consistent, daily actions that empower you to be focused and productive throughout the day.