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One of the challenges we face as individuals are bringing ourselves to get started on what we need to do each day. For most persons, this may not be much of a challenge, however, for many others, it takes extra efforts on their parts to get them started for the day.

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There are a few practices that could help you start your day the right way and also stay focused every day. These few practices, when applied over time could develop into habits that you may soon not have to worry about keeping in mind as you almost always do them automatically.

Carryover The Things You Left Undone From The Previous Day

The first thing you want to do is to finish off whatever it is you left off from the previous day. This will help you score some points for yourself on your achievements scoreboard and the positive energy that comes with that will help keep you motivated for the rest of the day.

Make A List Of The Things You Need To Accomplish

One of the purposeful ways to live through a day is to ensure you are clear on the things you need to do or achieve for the day. Having to leave your day entirely to chance may leave you with the feeling of underachievement. Working with a list of the things you need to do will help keep you focused as well as organised. A note of warning: never keep your list in your head, no matter how smart you think you are.

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Work On Your List In Order Of Priority

All tasks you have to complete in a day do not have the same level of importance or urgency. Determine the priority that each of the tasks requires and work accordingly. The Time Management Matrix or Quadrants introduced by Stephen Covey in his book, 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People, suggests a helpful way of doing this.

Furthermore, the Matrix suggested four ways of prioritizing tasks. Tasks that are urgent and important should be listed first and prioritized. Tasks that are important but not urgent should come next and be planned for. The next two are tasks that are urgent but not important and tasks that are not urgent and not important. The last two should never be prioritized ahead of the first two.

Identify Your Interruptions And Manage/ Eliminate Them

Interruptions do happen. It comes in different ways and from different sources. When you are trying to study, for instance, a sound from any external source could be just enough to distract you. Also, a news flash from a Television set is enough to interrupt your day and redirect your focus.

To help yourself stay focused on the things that you need to be focused on, you need to determine beforehand the things that may interrupt your day and work to eliminate them or manage them. Examples of things that may interrupt your day include your phone, your Television set, your neighbours or even your thoughts.

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Give A Timeline For Every Activity

What is the gain of spending the whole day on a single task that could have taken less time if planned out? Oftentimes, as individuals, we tend to judge our productivity by the amount of time spent doing a thing when most of those times, we simply took more time than was needed for the tasks.

Instructively, to solve this, define the timeline for each task you will get yourself involved in ahead of time. By defining the timeline for each activity, you are more likely to shut yourself away from other activities that could distract you

Visit Your List From Time To Time To Check Completed Tasks

As you work, check off completed tasks to score some mental points and also to remind yourself of what still needs to be done.

Finally, all being said, for you to stay focused and productive, you need a great amount of discipline. The steps above will help in keeping you focused by following through with them will need you to decide to stay disciplined.

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This article was first published on 5th May 2022


Ifegwu-Mbonu Victor is a Personal Growth and Leadership Trainer who provides training and coaching to individuals and organizations.

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