Find Time to Avoid Productivity Traps -5 Time Tips for You to Use Today!

Finding time to avoid productivity traps and work at your peak productivity is a time challenge that we all face.  Last week we explored some of the productivity traps that we can fall prey to – and how to avoid them.

This week I’d like to continue … with 5 timely tips that you can use to stay on track, especially when the going gets tough!  The reality is that the busier we get, the more likely we are to be pulled off course.  Not only that, but often what is going to be most helpful to us when stressed is exactly the opposite of what our initial, knee jerk response may be.

So, what helps?  Here are 5 tips to get you on track … and keep you there:

Define your task:

Envision your end point, and brainstorm what you need to reach it. What is the most direct route? Write it down.

Let simplicity be your guide; include only the items necessary to accomplish your task. Too many details can lead to overwhelm and procrastination. If you get tangled in the minutiae, tell yourself to shift gears and refocus on translating thought into action.

Staying Focused Means Saying No:

Just keep saying YES to your focus and NO to your distractions. You need boundaries to stay focused, and practice really helps.

Keep a notepad nearby so you can jot down things that tug at your attention. Promise yourself to come back to them later. Set a specific time for doing this. Make it a reward for staying on track now! When you can trust that you’ll come back to something later, you’ll be more willing to let it go in the moment!

When You’re Tempted to Accelerate, Put on the Brakes:

Learn to recognize feelings of overwhelm and stress. When you feel them, take a breath.

Stopping to gather yourself puts your feet back on the ground and puts YOU back in charge of your time. Working from a proactive, rather than a reactive, place always enhances your energy and creativity … as well as your productivity.

Your To Do Lists Should Serve YOU (Not Vice Versa):

Only put on your list what you can realistically do and are motivated to do.

If you can’t finish a project today, don’t put it on today’s list. Or just enter the small portion you can accomplish. Anything else goes onto your weekly or monthly list, in doable chunks! Your To Do List can help you stay focused and productive. To do that, it needs to be something that you want to look at – NOT a source of guilt.

Don’t Just Put on the Brakes, But Give Yourself Breaks:

If you don’t GIVE yourself regular breaks, you can rest assured that you’ll find ways to TAKE them.

Schedule a specific time every day for spontaneous pleasure. The more consistently you enjoy this special portion of your day, the easier it will be to reject impulsive choices.

And when all’s said and done, don’t forget to give yourself a friendly pat on the back as you look at your To Do List, with Today’s Tasks all checked off.

Remember that you are in charge, and you really can find time to get everything done!

Are you inspired to find time and increase your effectiveness?  Here’s a new option for following The Time Finder … we are now available at Amazon, so you can follow The Time Finder on your Kindle.   You can try it out for 14 days FREE, then continue to receive new content, right on your Kindle, every time we post!

And here’s more help…

So, what if you could find another hour every day? You can! You are invited to sign up for your FREE Finding Time Success Kit. It puts 3 key tools for your time success right into your hands! Grab it and see how you can recharge your energy, reduce overwhelm and frustration, and come to learn that 24 hours really ARE enough!

Let’s explore time together …


  1. Those are great points. For most people it’s hard to say NO to other things while that is one of the most important skills to have.

  2. I appreciate your stopping by … and am intrigued with your website and blog.

    It can be helpful, I think, to reframe every “No” as a “Yes” to something else … and I certainly agree that saying No is a skill that can be developed (as opposed to something more or less magical that one is born with).

    Looking forward to following your work … and hope you’ll drop by again.



  3. Ellene/AuthenticAbundance says

    Hello Paula,

    I like your post today, especially “Your to do List Should Serve You.”

    Your idea to only put on your list what you can realistically do and are motivated to do. This has sent encouragement to stay focused and productive.

    Thank you,

  4. Hi Ellene – Yes! A To Do List that contributes to overwhelm is probably going to distract, deplete and discourage … rather than helping you stay focused and productive. Thanks for sharing your insight … and here’s to paring down our lists to a manageable size … every day.

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