“Stay on target.” Fortunately, you don’t need the force to be with you to help you focus on what you need to do. Here’s a collection of nine easy-to use tools to help you eliminate distractions and concentrate on what you need to do to help your business thrive. Of course, tools are only useful if you know the right techniques for using them, so we’d recommend checking out a couple of other useful posts first:
- The art of prioritization – how to decide what to work on right now
- Focus, focus, focus – the importance of single-tasking
There are three main ways to stay on target: prioritize what’s important, minimize distractions, and concentrate on your tasks.
Prioritize what’s important
Staying on target means working on what’s most important, not just right now, but over the next week, month, or year. These tools and techniques can help you do just that.
- Trello — We love Trello – it’s one of the best task and project management tools out there. Its simple, intuitive interface lets you see at a glance everything you need to work on, which makes it super easy to prioritize what you have to do right now.
- Prioritization Techniques — There are dozens of different techniques and tools to help you prioritize what’s most important. Here’s a great selection – try them out and see if any of them work for you.
- The ONE Thing — MAPS Business Training is designed around finding the one most important thing you need to do to build a successful business. The ONE Thing workshops and seminars can help you focus on what’s most important and share important tools and techniques.
Whether it’s the temptation to read Facebook, spending your day responding to emails, or having continual demands on your attention, minimizing distractions is essential. Part of that is getting your work and life balance right, but there are also several tools you can use.
- StayFocusd— This is a free Chrome web app that lets you limit the amount of time you spend on distracting websites (social media, news, entertainment). You get a certain amount of time per day, and once that’s used up, that’s it – no more visiting Facebook!
- RescueTime — RescueTime tracks how long you spend doing all of your tasks in a day. Ever wondered how long you spend answering emails, working in Word, creating spreadsheets or doing research? RescueTime can tell you, so you can work on being more productive.
- Freedom — Freedom goes a step further than StayFocusd by letting you set schedules and block websites across all of your devices. There’s a free trial, and then a low-cost subscription if you find it useful.
Concentrate on your tasks
Pomodoro — Here at MAPS Business Training, we’ve tried various productivity methods, and one we really like is Pomodoro. It lets you stay ultra-focused on tasks for 25 minutes at a time, then allows a five-minute break. After doing that four times, you get a longer break. It’s a good way to sustain effort and really power through your success list.
Focus Booster — Focus Booster is an app that’s perfect for Pomodoro. It lets you set your session times and breaks, and it gives you audio and visual notifications to stay up to date with your tasks.
TunnelVision — This is a Chrome extension that works with Trello – every time you open up a new browser tab, it will list the most important tasks you still need to work on. Perfect as a reminder on where you need to focus your time.
As you can see, combining purposeful prioritization with a distraction-free environment and tools to help you concentrate means you’ll be able to get more done and drive your business forward.