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7 Steps to Unshakeable Focus: Master Prioritization & Dodge Distractions (Ep 77)

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Do you ever find yourself buried under a mountain of to-dos? If you’re here with me on Balancing Busy, my guess is a resounding YES! It’s that feeling where your tasks just keep piling up, seemingly multiplying like laundry after a never-want-it-to-end long weekend.

I know you’ve felt that pang of overwhelm right when you’re tucking in your kids, and you realize your workday spilled over into precious family time. Well, my friends, this episode is here to be your warm cup of strategy for your superhero mompreneur soul.

We’re not just tackling your to-do list; we’re crafting a master plan to break free from the cycle of chaos. So grab your planner, that once-hot-now-cold cup of coffee (or in my case, a forgotten peppermint tea), and let’s get started on this journey.

My goal is to keep this simple. That’s why I’ve broken it down into seven easy-to-follow steps. These steps can transform that chaos into calm!

Step 1: Unpack Your Task Suitcase

First things first, you need to see what’s really happening in your world. It’s time for a brain dump! You need to get all the chaos out of your head and onto paper (or your favorite digital document if you’re tech-savvy). If you’re wondering what a brain dump is, don’t worry, I’ve got you covered in Episode 41. You’ll find the link in the show notes, so be sure to check it out if you haven’t already.

Step 2: Prioritization – The Eisenhower Matrix

As crucial for a solopreneur as a compass is for a sailor, prioritization is key. It’s about navigating your sea of to-dos with intention. You need to identify what’s a real priority, what’s just pretending to be one, and where your time, energy, and focus should be directed to serve you, your business, and your family.

The Eisenhower Matrix is a classic tool that helps you sort tasks by urgency and importance. If you haven’t already, dive into Episode 41, where I talk about the Eisenhower Matrix in detail. It’s a game-changer when combined with the brain dump method.

Step 3: Batching Similar Tasks

Now that you’ve got your tasks organized, it’s time to group similar ones together and batch them. Batching is all about tackling tasks that are alike at the same time. This way, you avoid constantly switching gears and increase your efficiency. It’s like meal prepping for your week – you do it once, and it pays off all week long.

Step 4: Time Blocking

This step seamlessly integrates with Step 3. Time blocking involves taking the batched tasks, prioritizing them using the Eisenhower Matrix, and blocking them into your schedule. By allocating specific time slots for each task, you maintain focus and efficiency. The power of time blocking is real! It can make tasks that once felt impossible become completely achievable.

I recently had a conversation with a work-from-home mom who was feeling overwhelmed with her never-ending to-do list. By simply carving out some time and blocking tasks, she was amazed at how much lighter she felt. A few hours earlier, her workload seemed insurmountable, but time blocking changed the game for her.

Step 5: The Two-Minute Rule

Here’s a fantastic tip for you: if a task can be completed in two minutes or less, do it immediately. This simple rule is a game-changer for capturing quick wins and maintaining momentum throughout the day. It’s particularly effective for procrastinators and is one of my top strategies, which I discuss in detail in Episode 52 – “Stop Procrastinating: Three Tips That Actually Work.”

Step 6: Daily Top Three

Aim to set your daily top three priorities. These are the non-negotiables, the tasks that have the most significant impact on your day. They act as milestones and markers of progress, leaving you satisfied at the end of the day. By identifying these three crucial tasks, you can prioritize them and block time for them.

Step 7: End-of-Day Reflection and Planning

At the end of your day, take a moment to reflect on what went well and what didn’t. If you could redo your day, what would you change? This reflection helps build stronger habits and allows you to make necessary adjustments. It’s your opportunity to stop repeating unproductive patterns and find a daily rhythm that resonates with your business and personal goals.

Why not put these steps into practice tomorrow? Start by pinpointing your daily top three, prioritize them, and block time for them. Even if your day gets hijacked (as it often does for moms), you’ll still feel a sense of accomplishment. And at the end of the day, take a few moments to reflect, identifying what worked and what didn’t. By doing this consistently, you’ll set the stage for success, stride confidently through the day, and find balance in the busy.

Remember, as a solopreneur, you’re a visionary, an executor, and a critic. Prioritizing effectively means not only getting things done but doing them in harmony with your mission, both in your business and at home. This is about achieving harmony in both aspects of your life because you’re not just a business owner or a mom. You’re a multifaceted individual. Let’s make every day count by setting the stage for success and living with purpose.

Stay focused, stay driven, and until next time, let’s make every day count! Cheers to mastering the rhythm of productivity and finding balance in the busy. 🌟

00:00:32] Leah: hello, I am Leah Remillet and this is episode 77 of the Balancing Busy podcast. Do you ever find yourself buried under a mountain of to dos? Since you’re listening to a podcast called Balancing Busy, I’m going to guess the answer is yes. It’s where the tasks, they just keep multiplying like laundry over a weekend.

[00:00:53] Leah: If you’ve ever felt that pang of overwhelm just as you’re tucking the kids in, because you’re wondering how your workday spilled into family time. Today’s episode is meant to be a warm cup of strategy for your soul to the superhero mompreneurs who seamlessly switch between spreadsheets to storybooks, who know the secret recipe for the perfect PB& J, specifically for their kiddo, but whose calendars happen to be a recipe for chaos.

[00:01:24] Leah: Take a breath. This one is dedicated to you. So today we’re not just tackling your to do list. We’re crafting a master plan so that this does not become an ongoing problem. I want to help you break the cycle. So grab your planner, maybe that cold cup of coffee, or for me, it’s peppermint tea that you forgot to drink, and let’s do this.

[00:01:50] Leah: Okay, to best serve you, I want to break this episode down into seven simple steps. And together, they really can transform what you’re feeling that chaos into calm. Now, to start us off, we’re going to start with step one, which is unpacking your task suitcase. First up, you just, you need to lay everything out.

[00:02:13] Leah: You need to be able to see what all is really happening. This is when you need a brain dump. All the chaos in your brain has to get out and onto paper or a document if you’re a tech gal. . Now, I’m not going to lie, I sort of feel like I have mastered the brain dump and my technique and strategy. I kind of think it’s the best. And I’ve dedicated an entire episode already to explaining my brain dump process. It’s episode 41. So we’ll have it in the show notes and I won’t go deep into this because I know you can get it all there.

[00:02:48] Leah: So in case you haven’t heard that one yet, you’re going to want to make sure that you make a little time for episode 41. Okay, so let’s dive into the task of prioritization. . It is a skill that is truly as crucial for a solopreneur as a compass would be for a sailor.

[00:03:07] Leah: It’s about being able to navigate through your sea of to dos with intention to be able to identify and recognize what is a priority, what is masquerading as a priority and actually isn’t, and where your time and energy and focus is going to best serve you, your business, and your family. 

[00:03:29] Leah: Step two brings us to the Eisenhower matrix, which is a classic yet powerful tool that helps you to sort tasks by urgency and importance. I actually talk all about the Eisenhower matrix in that same episode about brain dumps, because I am telling you the way that I use these together, it is It’s awesome!

[00:03:49] Leah: Okay? I’m just gonna say it. It is! And that is episode 41. So if you have not listened to that one, I hope I have massively convinced you by now that when you’re done with this one, you want to make episode 41. The next goal, I’m telling you, it is a gold mine. So I’m not going to go into the Eisenhower matrix because it is covered so deeply in episode 41.

[00:04:11] Leah: But basically it’s like having a guide whispering in your ear, helping you identify the most critical first things, the important things, and then helping you recognize the things to delegate that are urgent, but less crucial and eliminate the distractions. That brings us to step three. So at the very beginning, when there’s just too many things, we just need to get it out and we need to organize it, right?

[00:04:40] Leah: One through two has accomplished that. It’s all out. It’s organized. It is now numbered based on my brain dump method, which. You already are aware of from episode 41, if you heard it, if not, you’re going to go become aware of it. And now it’s step three, which is now that you’ve got it all categorized, it becomes very easy to start grouping the like minded tasks so that you can batch them.

[00:05:05] Leah: And that is step three, batching. Batching is just taking similar tasks And putting them together and doing them at the same time, that way you’re not jumping from, let’s say, answering an email that is, uh, about a problem on the website. So you’re trying to get it fixed and then all of a sudden you’re jumping into a newsletter that you need to write that is about a promotion and then you’re trying to jump back over to preparing something for your podcast episode that is going live, jumping from task to task.

[00:05:36] Leah: It’s slowing you down. I mean, this is proven. So being able to batch those like minded tasks and just get them done at once makes you so much more efficient and effective. By grouping these tasks, you’re not constantly switching gears. It’s like meal prepping for your week, right? You do it once, and you do it well, and then you enjoy the benefits of it all week long.

[00:06:01] Leah: Okay, so step four seamlessly integrates with step three. So if step three is batching, step four is time blocking. So you take. That batch work that you did, right? You’ve now put them together, you know which things should be done in what order because you used the brain dump with the Eisenhower matrix, you know how to prioritize them.

[00:06:23] Leah: Now you block them into your schedule. So time blocking is simply taking those different activities that you need to do, and I’m prioritizing them by urgency and importance. And then. Importance and then not in urgent, not important. Like they’re all in their proper place and now I’m blocking them into my calendar.

[00:06:43] Leah: So I’m literally just looking and saying, okay, this is the most important thing. I’m starting this here and I’m blocking from 9 a. m. to 10 30 and I’m getting that done. Then I’m going to block from 10 30 to 11 30 and I’m going to get this next thing done. I was having a conversation with a work from home mom who was feeling really overwhelmed.

[00:07:02] Leah: We literally just had this conversation two days ago and she was sharing with me how she had been feeling so overwhelmed with so many things. It was just that between. Her kids having a different activity every night of the week and she’s trying to work on the business and she really wants to start this new thing that she knows should probably to be done by January.

[00:07:23] Leah: But how is she going to fit it all in? And it just felt daunting. I know every single one of us relates to that. She blocked some time. She finally took a couple hours. She blocked some time and she shared how at the end of that block. She couldn’t believe how much lighter she felt what literally two hours earlier had felt impossible.

[00:07:48] Leah: It had felt like there’s no way there’s no way I can do all this suddenly felt obtainable, achievable and more than possible. And all she did was just time block. She just time blocked. So imagine when you’re adding all of this, right? What had happened was she had too many things in her head. They needed to get down onto paper so she could organize them.

[00:08:13] Leah: And then by just carving out some time, making that block of time, and seeing what she could do, the power opened up and she realized, Oh my gosh, this isn’t as bad as I thought it was. I can do this. And then that brings us to step five. Maybe this isn’t a step as much as, honestly, it’s really a tip. And that is implementing the two minute rule.

[00:08:40] Leah: If a task can be knocked out in less time than it takes to check your email, just do it. Just do it straight away. Don’t wait. There are so many little tiny tasks that stack up, add up. We have to like re remember what we’re supposed to be doing, where we go for this. If you can take care of it in two minutes or less, knock it out.

[00:08:58] Leah: And the reason that I love using the two minute rule is because It’s about capturing those quick wins to maintain or just get some momentum throughout the day. In fact, for all of my procrastinators, this is a powerful and effective strategy just to get you going. It’s in my top three actually, which I go into in episode 52, Stop Procrastinating.

[00:09:24] Leah: Three tips that actually work. All right. That brings us to step six. Aim to set your daily top three. These are the non negotiables. These are the things that have the most significant impact on your day. 

[00:09:40] Leah: These are your milestones. They are your markers of progress. And it’s what’s going to lead you to actually feeling satisfied at the end of the day. When you review your day, when you think about what you did, this is what allows you to feel like I did good. And it’s just by identifying what are the three most important things I can do today.

[00:09:59] Leah: And then you block out time and you start there. Speaking of which, this brings us to step seven, an end of day, quick reflection. And I want to add to that a rough plan for tomorrow. Just taking a few minutes at the end of your day to reflect on.

[00:10:19] Leah: What you liked and what you didn’t, if you could do the day over again, what you would have shifted. This is going to help you build stronger habits because you’re taking the time to recognize what actually worked for you and what didn’t. Maybe you realize that you had a huge moment of distraction where you got sucked into your phone and it threw off the rest of your day.

[00:10:43] Leah: And so seeing that you look for, how can I put in A protection system, a little alarm system that will stop that from happening to me. Maybe you realize that the day was too scheduled. It was too full and that it just left everybody a little cranky and drained. And so you can start thinking moving forward.

[00:11:06] Leah: How do I intentionally ensure that I am not over scheduling us? Reviewing our day is going to help us to stop doing the things we don’t like. But as long as we aren’t really paying attention, as long as we just keep barreling through, the truth is, we’re probably not going to see any changes. We’re going to just duplicate.

[00:11:27] Leah: It’s going to be like Groundhog Day, over and over and over, where you say you don’t like it, and yet you repeat the process. However, when we actually reflect on what we loved and what we didn’t, we can start recognizing where we want to make adjustments. Now, why not put this into practice tomorrow?

[00:11:47] Leah: Start by pinpointing your daily top three. Then I want you to prioritize them, block them in for the first things you’re going to get done. Here’s what’s beautiful about that. Even if the rest of your day gets hijacked, and let’s be honest, I mean, as a mom, I cannot tell you how often that happens. I’m still going to feel good because I did those three most important things first.

[00:12:11] Leah: Heck, even if I only am able to do the first thing, I’m still going to feel like I made progress. Then at the end of the day, take a moment and reflect. Did zeroing in on those tasks help you to find your flow? Remember as a solopreneur, you are the visionary, you are the executor, and you are the critic too.

[00:12:35] Leah: Prioritizing effectively doesn’t just mean you get things done. It means you’re composing the day in a way that resonates with your business goals. Ensuring that every task, every effort is in harmony with your mission, both in your business and in your home. This is about harmony in both places. This is about letting them flow together because we are not just a business owner and we’re not just a mom.

[00:13:04] Leah: We are students. So many things. We are multifaceted. So let’s set the stage for success and stride confidently through the day with a plan that sings purpose. Oh my gosh. That is like one of my favorite words, purpose, that intention, presence. Those are the. Attributes that I want to be known for, especially with the people who matter most.

[00:13:28] Leah: So here’s to mastering that rhythm of productivity and finding balance in the busy until next time, stay focused, stay driven, and let’s make every day count. 



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