In my recent quest for simplifying life, I started removing more distractions and unnecessary things off my to do list.
I’m not saying it’s easy – in this world full of distractions and interruptions, it’s actually very difficult to remove things. Information surrounds us and we often fear we’re missing out if we turn it all off to get some focused work done. Or at least I do!
But I know I need to make more room for rest and quiet in my life. I get easily overwhelmed, and if I’m not careful, that quickly leads to burnout.
When I’m careful to limit distractions and take unnecessary things off my list, I feel like I have so much more room to breathe in my life.
But there has been another added benefit that I wasn’t expecting… I was actually accomplishing MORE than I was before! So I wanted to share with you exactly how I’ve been able to accomplish more by doing less.
Find out the ROI
ROI is an important term in figuring out what exactly you should be doing. It stands for “Return on Investment” and determining the ROI depends on your goals.
It generally refers to business but can be applied to other areas of life too. So what tasks are actually moving you closer to your goals? Those are the ones with a higher ROI. If a task has a low ROI it’s something you should consider eliminating.
Here are a few questions you can ask yourself to help determine the ROI of a task:
- Is this important or just urgent?
- Will this move me closer to my goals?
- Is this something I need/want to do or is it just something others expect of me?
Focus on What Matters
One of the most essential tasks here is to know your priorities in this season of life. Once you know what your priorities are, or what really matters right now, you know where to focus your efforts.
So often our actions don’t reflect our list of priorities. We need to be clear on what our priorities are AND the actions you’re going to take to make them a priority.
Eliminate the unessential
Clean up your to-do list from the things that really just aren’t necessary and don’t bring in any ROI. Also eliminate the things that aren’t a priority right now. They can wait, I promise.
Follow these steps to figure out what you can take off your plate:
- Make a list of everything you do and then sort into the following categories:
Just one quick example: I automated and delegated my grocery shopping by using an app called Instacart. Now I can quickly shop from my phone and have someone else go to the store. This one thing has saved me so much time over the past few months since I’ve been using it.
Recently I unfollowed several people and pages on Facebook, unsubscribed to several email lists, and looked for other ways to eliminate the things that were distracting me from getting important things done.
Another thing I’ve done is to install the “Kill newsfeed” Chrome extension. Since I almost always use Chrome as my internet browser, it will take away the Facebook newsfeed when I log in so I’m not sucked into all the posts. Now the only way I can access the newsfeed is through my phone app.
There are SO many distractions all around us. By figuring out what distracts you the most and getting rid of those distractions, at least for a while, will help you become SO much more focused and productive.
Manage Your Time Well
And not just manage your time – you have to find your MOTIVATION. I see this struggle all. The. time. So if it’s something you struggle with too – know you’re not alone!
There are a couple of strategies I find that work well for managing my time a little better.
The first is time blocking. I make an ideal schedule with times blocked out for work, family time, household chores, etc. This gives me a great starting point helps me avoid jumping from task to task without accomplishing much of anything.
Going hand-in-hand with time blocking is batching. This is just doing a bunch of like tasks together. For example, you could run all of your errands on one day of the week. Another example is to sit and pay your bills once or twice a month instead of here and there when they’re due.
Getting a Handle on Digital Distractions
Finally, let’s talk about digital distractions: getting sucked into the rabbit hole of a newsfeed, getting constant notifications, etc.
One of the biggest things we can do is to limit notifications. You can go into your phone’s settings and set up which apps are allowed to send you notifications.
Taking this simple step helps so much because the phone isn’t constantly pinging with another notification.
By getting a handle on distractions, eliminating unnecessary tasks, and managing our time well, we will start to see that by doing less we can actually accomplish MORE.
If you want some more ideas on ditching digital distractions, download my new, FREE guide: