It seems like 24 hours in a day are just not enough to get everything done! One popular meme on social media refers to how we have the same hours in a day as Beyoncé.
This implies that if Beyoncé, a mother of 3, a wife, the most decorated Grammy-award winner, a brand, Queen of the Universe (ok, mostly kidding), can accomplish so much in a day, surely everyone else can as well, right?
Well, the thing that meme leaves out is that Beyoncé is on another level of privilege.
She has the luxury of nannies, personal assistants, chefs, personal shoppers, managers, personal trainers…you name it!
Beyoncé has a whole team that she pays to help her achieve all of these things! So how can we “peasants” or “basics” (again, kidding!) get more done in a day without having a team at our beck and call?
How can we become the Beyoncés of our own lives?
Write a To-Do List
There are many ways to create a to-do list, via apps, via Notes app on your phone. However, there is something about actually writing out (yes, with a pen and paper) your to-do list.
Studies show that the act of physically writing things out triggers your brain to remember what you wrote, meaning each item resonates more than one a digital to-do list.
I like writing out my to-do list for the week on Sundays. I set some time aside with my calendar to see what I have going on, and I like writing my to-do lists in my planner!
Pro-tip: Try to choose your top 3 to-do items daily from your master to-list for the week!
I like to break it up like this so my daily to-do list doesn’t look so daunting…and I can focus on completing those 3 tasks a day.
Try the Pomodoro Technique
I was recently introduced to this time management technique and my life has changed for the better!
The Pomodoro Technique consists of you setting a timer for 25 minutes, and doing everything you can to stay focused on a particular task for those 25 minutes, with extreme focus.
Then, when the timer goes off, you set a timer for a 5-minute break. Repeat this cycle of 25 minutes of super focus and 5 minutes off 4 times. After the fourth cycle, take a 30 minute break.
Remember in school, when you had a paper due and you would wait until the last-minute to complete it (or maybe that was just me)? Well, you still finished, right?
This technique maximizes the fact that we can get so much done in 25 minutes if we knew we only have 25 minutes to complete the task! This technique also helps prevent cycles of burnout and distraction.
Using this technique while working at home has been a game-changer for me, as I am always surprised with how much work I get done in a short period of time.
It’s like I am competing with the timer to see if I can complete my task before the timer goes off! I find that I even use this technique with doing cleaning chores around my apartment and other tasks that need to be done.
This technique works so well for me that sometimes the 25-minute timer will go off and I’ll keep right on working because I’m so focused!
Get Rid of Digital Distractions
It’s important to note that when using the Pomodoro Technique, I do not use my phone as the timer!
Nope—I use an actual timer I bought off Amazon (affiliate link). Why would I buy a whole new timer when I can just set one on my phone?
Well, my phone is my biggest distraction, whether that’s texting back friends, mindlessly scrolling on social media, watching a funny TikTok, or taking non-work phone calls.
I find that using a separate timer helps keep me off my phone. In fact, I try to always put my phone in a different room from where I’m working and I put it on silent.
I can always check and get back to important notifications on my 5-minute breaks!
Also, if you also struggle with popping on social media on your computer while working, use an app like Cold Turkey blocker that blocks you from accessing social media.
I know some people who only get on social media in the morning before starting their work (giving themselves a 15-minute timer) and after they’ve completed their tasks for the day.
It’s all about discipline!
Learn How to Say “No”
In addition to avoiding digital distraction, you also need to learn the art of saying “no.”
To get things done, sometimes you have to realize that you are only one person (without a Beyoncé team) and say no to people, things, and places!
If you are working on creating an online business, sometimes you have to decline attending events with friends.
Many successful entrepreneurs, actors, and athletes have expressed how they have to go into a season of disappearing and seclusion in order to completely focus on whatever goal they had their sights on.
Yes, some friends and family may be taken aback at first, but I always say that if they are your real friends, they will love you enough to want to see you achieve your goals.
They know you’ll be back and you have their support.
Listen to Focus Music
Listening to music and podcasts while working on a task isn’t new, and sometimes it can actually be a distraction!
If I need to really focus on something that requires a lot of brain juice, I cannot listen to Beyoncé’s Homecoming…because I will end up singing and dancing and focusing on “Becky with the Good Hair” instead of my tasks!
With podcasts, sometimes I cannot even focus on what the podcast is saying and I found myself constantly rewinding podcasts because I couldn’t grasp what they were saying while I was trying to work.
I asked some of my friends about this “problem” I was having, and I have the best friends ever: apparently I wasn’t listening to the right things.
My friend introduced me to the world of focus/study music. Spotify has a plethora of focus playlists, which is mainly instrumental music or chill, melodic beats. Some people also love listening to classical music or other instrumentals.
I also recently discovered the importance of binaural beats, which is the sound wave frequency that triggers the brain to stay focused.
There are lots of videos on YouTube of focus binaural beats, some videos even last a whole 8 hours!
Related: How to Channel Your Focus More Effectively
Have you tried any of these productivity techniques? How do you best stay focused on a task or work? Let us know your favorite strategies for staying on task!