Next up in the Cost of Ambition series is the focus of taking breaks and knowing when breaks are needed. We’ve currently covered making time for yourself by doing something relaxing and in the last post we discussed the importance of getting plenty of rest as well as why it’s important to eat three meals a day and to stay hydrated. In conjunction with those things are the ability of knowing when to take breaks. I’m a super fan of putting yourself on a timer while working tasks and one of the techniques that I used to make it through college was alotting myself a certain amount of time to complete certain tasks. While filming my client’s weekly attitude therapy video (yes, we do attitude therapy, if you’re wondering what that is…send me a message and ask me about it!).
I pointed out that fact that when we’re given a certain amount of time to complete a task, we almost always use the entire amount of time allotted to us. Whether we’re given six months to complete a task or a week to complete the same task, if we’re goal-oriented, we’re going to ensure that we use the time given to us to complete the task. You can do the same thing when setting goals for yourself whether business or personal. Set aside a certain amount of time to work on a task on your list and commit to work that task in the time that you’ve allotted yourself. Personally, I like to use one hour time slots for most tasks.
Create a to-do list and separate the tasks into two categories. Make sure each category gets its own sheet of paper. Title one category “The Now Tasks” and the other “The Wait Tasks”. Think about the tasks that cannot wait and need to be completed sooner than later, those are the tasks that will go on your “Now Tasks” list. Next, think about the tasks that can wait and can be completed at a later date, these are the tasks that will go on the “Wait Tasks” list. Once each list is compiled, put the Wait Tasks list away and don’t pull it back out until you’ve completed every single task on the Now Tasks list. This will help you to block the feeling of overwhelm and to laser focus on the most important task without feeling the pressure of having so much to do.
Once you’ve discovered which tasks you’re going to work on first, set aside a block of time (an hour is recommended to start but essentially you should do what works best for you) and fully commit to solely working on that task during that time slot. This means: You are not allowed to take bathroom breaks, check Facebook, take phone calls, check emails, get up to get something to drink/eat etc. You are to only work on the task at hand. I suggest you sit down with a beverage so that there is no need to get up and I’d eat before hand. Also, if your phone has a DO NOT DISTURB feature, I’d turn it on to block phone calls and notifications from coming through. Mute sound notifications on your laptop or tablet and whatever else you have to do to fight distractions. Turn on your favorite music playlist (if needed) and go to work!
I’d use a timer or alarm (which will usually still sound if your phone is on silent) so that you know when your time is up. When the alarm goes off, stop what you’re doing and TAKE A BREAK. Do not start the next task until you have completed your break. There are many free and paid apps that help with this type of productivity and will time your task, sound an alarm when your time is up and will time a 15 minute break for you. Find the app that best works for you and go at it!
With May being the month of putting goals into action, I’ve created your task lists for you. Click the links below to download your Now Tasks and Wait Tasks worksheets. If you don’t already, I’d also suggest creating a work binder for planning out both personal development and business development, if you need help with that, feel free to shoot me a message and we can talk business!
Stay Ambitious, Stay Motivated!
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