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This past week one of the requests that came in was to answer the question:

“How do I stay focused and complete more on my list?”

Please add your perspective and experience on how you stay on track in the comments below.

It has been my experience that the best approach to stay focused and knock out your list is the one that gets used.  During my professional experience, I have witnessed teams and individuals that start off using a tool, application, or a process only to abandon it midway through the learning curve.  They get just far enough in that they are following the process, but not far enough to begin enjoying the results.  The best tool, process or application for mastering lists is the one you commit to using.

With that said there are some applications or systems that are nice to use, but those really depend on personality type.  Do you need extra bells and whistles in order to feel free to handle every situation that comes your way?  Or do you thrive in a minimalistic environment where very few options help you be successful?  Does your learning style require you to use a specific approach? 

Below are a few options that work well depending on the scenario.

Pen & Paper

Yes, I am aware it is 2021, and more people carry around some sort of device than those that carry around pen and paper, but hear me out.  If you are the type of person who has a kinesthetic learning style, this approach can really pay off.  In order for it to do so, the commitment comes from carrying it with you, everywhere.  No, it is not as bad as it seems.  Find a size that fits your style and comfort.

Use this link to access the google document version of how I manage my day. Example here

This past year, part of my journey included leadership coaching. This approach I adopted from Jeramiah Solven through his Conquer Acadamy, you can learn more about him here: Jeramiah Solven


Every morning – 

  • Review what you must accomplish as it relates to your goals
  • Review your task list (What must get done?, Should this really be on my list?, What can I delete?, What can I delegate?)
  • Picture how your day is going to go?
    • What will your interactions look like?
    • How will it feel when I am reviewing how my day went?
    • What is my focus for today?

Plan the week 1 time a week

Plan the month 1 time a month

Review quarterly


If you are the type of person who needs a nudge, digital tools can be a great way to solve this.  These tools also allow you to get on the same page with those you interact with daily.  But for all your excitement of sharing the workload, remember, not everyone manages their day the same.  This is especially true if the people you interact with are not required to track things in a central area (ie: family).  While all of these tools I am about to share are digital, the processes can also be done with sticky notes or whiteboards, which can be an option in a family setting.

Many of these tools offer templates for a structure which is a great way to get started.


If you like sticky notes all over the place, then this might be a great digital tool for you.  Trello has been around for a number of years and got its start leveraging a kanban board methodology.  If you are not familiar with this, an overly simple way to describe it is there are columns and your sticky notes move through the columns as you work on them. Trello allows you to customize the columns, so if you choose, you can modify the columns into key areas of focus.  Add the card (sticky note) to the correct column and check it off once it is done.  

If you get overwhelmed easily, keep a backlog board and only add your priorities for the week to your mainboard.  Use the backlog as part of your weekly planning sessions.

Asana, Monday, etc.

Another great tool, especially in a team dynamic would be Asana or Monday or other.  I group these together as they have similar functionality and work equally well in a team dynamic.  It really comes down to personal preference.  Again it is about adoption and commitment to using the application and following a process.

These tools are great at creating teams, projects or focus areas and individual tasks that can be prioritized and given dates & times that they need to be accomplished.  These tools also provide a great morning update for what needs to be done today which can help expedite planning each morning.  While this is helpful, be sure to spend extra time each week pre-planning the week, but don’t slack on the daily planning.  Things change every day and being intentional about your approach is a fundamental key to your success.

Looking for a little more?

Shoot me a message in LinkedIn or Facebook and I would be happy to help.

Have a better way?

Be sure to add to the discussion!



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