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How to Get Clarity When Your Mind is Scattered or Distracted

When I have a week that is concentrated on a single project I often feel as though I loose focus. My mind can forget other projects or important tasks that were not contained within the context of the project I was working on. If I don’t catch myself, there is the opportunity for things to fall through the cracks. I forget to respond to important emails, to close the loop on an important task, or push the ball forward on an important project. Here’s a practice I use to recalibrate myself: Organize all the paper with ideas or tasks in a single stack. Get a blank legal pad. When my mind seems scattered a blank piece of paper brings clarity…

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Why I Break Up Task Lists

I’ve been using Todoist for a couple months now. It’s a great implementation of the Getting Things Done system. I highly recommend both. However, using a robust task manager doesn’t eliminate the trappings of a yellow legal pad: pages of tasks and ideas without context or prioritization. The lists can still get out of control. As a type-A personality, I love creating tasks and crossing them off a list: the temptation to constantly grow my task list doesn’t go away with a robust task management system. It only gets worse. Less Than Ten You can only do so much in a day. I’m optimistic. I enjoy looking at the day and imagining all that I can accomplish. But, I can only do 10 tasks a day. I’ve tracked, tested, and analyzed this…

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Other’s Urgent is Not Your Own

I’m a people-pleaser. I love helping people, having a conversation, giving away my knowledge, etc. Over the last year it’s been important for me to learn to say no and not feel guilty. It’s easy for me to let another’s urgent become my own. Whether it’s a friend, a family member, a client, or someone within your organization. Defending your “domino task” – the one task that will move the needle and make the biggest impact – is incredibly important. It’s also really hard. Completely ignoring urgent requests of those around you isn’t possible, but helping the task along with a minimal effort is…

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