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Get more done by focusing on just five things

Everyone gets frustrated with their productivity. No mater how much you get done, it can begin to feel like you aren’t getting anything that really matters to you complete. There are tasks at work, home, from family or friends, and even those things you wanted to do for fun or to fulfill an ambition or dream.

This past weekend, I created a little list. Just five things that I wanted to get done before Sunday came to an end. There is a lot I want to do and a lot of things I’ve written down to remember to do, and all of the things that come up organically day-to-day. My tendency is to complete the things others have asked me to do first. Or, I will jump on the new task given to me in order to complete it as quick as I can. Usually, my own list doesn’t get done. Or, I allow procrastination to get the better of me.

As I write this, I’m completing the fourth out of the five things I picked for Sunday. I like to write blog posts. But, I don’t make it as much of a priority as I would like. So today, a blog post is going up! Before this I got up on a ladder and fixed a problem with a Blink camera. I also improvised a solution for the power cord situation in my home office — all the cables are off the ground now and the elevated power bar attached to my desk no longer slides and unexpectedly disconnects stuff that uses the heavier/fatter AC adapters. I had to run to Menards to get some bolts and washers for that. I also put up two mounting brackets for our WiFi network (which required a second trip to Menards) — which freed up a tripod I needed, which had been serving as a makeshift mounting bracket for far too long.

I’m closing out my todo list by continuing work on my online certifications related to user experience. The classes have been fun. This past week, I finished my first certification and added it to my LinkedIn profile!

I’m proud of what I completed today. I’ve been feeling tired, and it can be so tempting to take it easy and do less in my free time. Recovering from a busy week is important too. But, making a list of just five things (some of which I had been putting off) made making progress seem much more easy to start and finish. It’s a lesson I’ve relearned many times: break things down into smaller tasks and shorter lists. You’ll be able to get your mind wrapped around and focused on getting things done, it won’t seem like quite an exhausting slog, and you’ll feel great about yourself and that you had the grit to set a course and get some things done.