Have you felt as though you are not getting done those things that are most important to you, your life, your peace of mind and happiness?
Are you overwhelmed by your growing list of to-dos and obligations, with your important tasks taking a back seat while you steer other people’s life in your front seat?
Here’s what to do
Then try this cheap and easy way to keep your focus on your main tasks: Write the tasks you need to take action on for your progress on an index card. List three tasks that you need to do to make progress towards your dreams. Then list one to three tasks that you need to do for others and at least one self-care activity you need for your well-being. As you complete your tasks, refer to the index card for the tasks that you need to do for that day.
Index cards work for multiple reasons.
Index cards help you to focus
A small index card, 3 x 5 size, has at most 10 lines on one side. The limited number of lines means there is a limited number of tasks you can do in any one day. The key idea is to focus on completing a limited number of tasks for the day, and focus on one task at a time.
I like the index card for writing my tasks as I can prop the card on my desk or on my computer. This easily serves as a visual reminder of what is most important to me on that day.
Index cards are portable
You can keep the card in your back pocket and pull it out as you deal with one task at a time. If you have a notebook then the card can act as a marker for your current day. I keep the cards in a pencil case which I take with me everywhere during my work day. The case holds pens, my smartphone, my work’s identification and access cards. If you don’t like physical paper then either take a photo with your phone after writing up the card or use the ColorNote app on your smart phone. I tend to prefer a physical card as it really is limited by its physical size.
You can write short notes on the back side of the index card
If you are in a meeting and you have to give an impromptu presentation, you can plan the presentation on the back. The card is small so you have limited space to get to the point quickly.
You can record other items as they occur to you during the day including ideas for projects, a reminder for your grocery list, a quote from someone, tasks that came up that you don’t want to deal with immediately.
Renew and process the card
At the end of the day, review and process the card. Transfer things that have to completed to the next day’s card, add new projects, tasks, and ideas to your master list, record notes in Evernote. Then rip up the card and toss it away.
Call to action
Try this technique for just one day and let me know how it goes for you.