Thursday, January 8, 2015

Reeder Focus

Focus really should be the word of the year in 2015. I am a part of a lot of meetings at work, involved at my church, lots of events going on with my family. How in the world can I keep all the things I need to act on straight and in front of me so I don't "drop the ball" on certain items?
Leaders without focus succeed at what doesn’t matter. -Dan Rockwell

Plan Your Day
Every morning, before my day really gets started I do this. It is really quite simple but has to be intentional. I review my calendar for the day to see the meetings that are ahead of me to prepare myself for the expectations ahead. I then move to reviewing my todo list as it is directly impacted by my calendar as there is only so much time in each day. I try to be real with myself when reviewing my todo list. If you can't be real and honest with yourself on what you can do, who can you be honest with. Adjust the list daily. It is always a work in progress. Give yourself freedom to move items as needed.

Google Docs
For all my standard meetings that I attend at work, I have a google doc for each meeting. I record action items for me that come out of the meeting. I have a notes section for the meeting where I can capture things that are said. I try to review all these meeting documents on a regular basis and move the action items over to my todo list.

To-do List
I have used a ton of software solutions over the years but I keep coming back to They have a web, Chrome Plugin, iPhone, and Android apps that syncs easily. On the iPhone, you can even set it up to be able to use Siri for easily capturing todo items while driving. Toodledo also allows for multiple lists so I can separate work, family, church, etc. They also allow you to be able to email items into the to-do list for prioritizing later (see above about Planning your Day). Not to go into much detail in this post, but they use the concept of "Importance" of tasks. This is a weighted sale based on due date and priority. This is really helpful in helping me decide what I need to be working on next. I treat the priority option like this:

Top Drop dead have to do today and very rarely used as it weights the Importance heavily.
High Use this for items that are High Importance and High Urgency
Medium Use this for items that are High Importance and Low Urgency
Low Use this for items that are Low Importance and High Urgency
Negative Use this for items that are Low Importance and Low Urgency

This is not an exact science but works very nice for me. I set a due date only when there is a hard date enforced on me or I set it myself (which I have freedom to move as part of the daily planning)

Do you have any tools you use to help bring focus to your day & life? Please share!

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