For Your Eyes Only
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Can’t wait to hear what you all think of this!
Dude…this is so true. I used to use a similar method for things and have no idea why I don’t anymore. Most of my most productive days have always been when I make a small list of what needs to get done.
I do the same thing when I travel too. I hate flying, so the morning before I leave I always end up forgetting something. I started making a small list of the things I still needed to get together before I leave for the airport, and don’t remove it from my luggage until everything has been accounted for…much like not removing the note before the end of the day.
This works…and I will definitely start using this ASAP. If you don’t have it laid out for you…you won’t know the direction for the day. It’s like having all the ingredients but not knowing what to do first, how much to use, and what happens next.
Awesome stuff bro
Absolutely love it. I’m off to get some sticky notes now:)
I love this tip. I already shared this with Ben, but it’ll probably be useful for everyone else too.
I had a similar idea that I had been meaning to get to. Which was buy one of those massive dry erase board calendars to start writing down my stuff every day.
BUT I’m glad I didn’t go invest in that yet, because this is way more powerful and here’s why…..
The idea of putting it ALL on ONE single sticky note for each day, is because if each of those 5 tasks were on their own sticky note, it would be sooooo devilishly easy to just think to myself “oh it’s okay, I’ll move this sticky to tomorrow”.
But you can’t. You either get everything done that day or you don’t.
You either get to move on to the next days tasks, or you don’t.
I needed some good ole mind manipulation to MAKE myself stay on track.
Thank you very much for the guide… simple is good and I can see the potential power in the simple strategy… you hit the nail on the head with me when you spoke of my biggest reason for not succeeding as I could.
Off to buy some stickies : )
I would leave you a comment on how effective this is but doing so is not written down on my sticky note so I can’t tell you thank you or even that I appreciate the valuable tip. : )
Ben, you’re spot on.
I’ve taught productivity in my training business and simplicity is the key to focus,
thether that’s five tasks or whatever number you choose.
The other thing is to make sure that the tasks count. I’d ask myself:
“What are the [five/four/three/two/etc] most important things I can do tomorrow?”
Rank them, then start with number one. Don’t stop until it’s done or you’ve taken it
as far as you possible can for the day.
Then start number two, and so on.
I’ve had students double or triple actual production with this.
Simplicity. Focus. Execution.
Thanks for the gift.
Dr.Ben – you are as always amazing! this is exactly what I am suffering with. Staying at the computer all day long and nothing is moving. Will definitely put your method to use! Thanks a lot!
Simple and effective.
I will have to give it a go!
Hey Dr. Ben,
Yeah buddy, this is my fourth or fifth time around the sun on this one! I’m a habitual multi-tasker who needs to reform his ways. I’m a contractor for 15 years, and learning to focus and finish jobs was tough, but has made me the best contractor. Now, with a growing offline marketing business, I need to double down and do better with this…but more importantly, I need to take this lesson to my people so they get focuses as well. Thanks for this great nugget of wisdom, I aspire to be a fusion of “old school” and “new school” just like you. I’ll see you at the Rockstar Summit in Vegas few weeks, I’m rolling in from Atlanta GA with my buddy and rising WSO Rockstar RyMac (Carolina) and really looking forward to meeting you in person. Chow!
I am an ADHD Queen extraordinaire and this is exactly what I needed.
Something so stupid simple that I do not have to watch 12 dvds to learn.
Love IT!, Cut through all the clutter and excuses. And such a simple thing. sticky notes. Thanks
i think I need this
Thanks Ben this is exactly what I needed.
I’ve written down 2 sticky note pads to buy! One for me and one for my husband. Double the productivity! Every night we both wonder where the day went and yet we ‘worked’ all day! Wow, can’t wait to see what we can accomplish now
You’re SO right with this, Dr. Ben.
The slowest, least-productive weeks I ever have are the ones where I’ve run out of sticky notes, and use FULL pages instead! Time to get back to the little stickies.
P.S. – Just how many pads are YOU buying at once, at the price you mentioned in the report? ;o)
Sure hope this method “sticks” in my mind and I act on it…sounds too good to be true. I hope not, I sure need it!
Thanks for the free advice.
Thanks Dr. Ben! I so needed this. It felt like you were talking to me about multitasking lol. I do that a lot, then I wonder where did the time go and why didn’t I finish what I started? I will be getting some sticky notes and using this technique to get myself more focused on doing 1 thing at the time as far as I can go for the day before doing the next one. You are so right when you say simple is better. I used to do this, made a list for the day and checked off things as they got done, and I always finished everything on my list because I stuck to doing one thing until it was done before I moved on to the next one.
Great tip. many thanks.
By the way, I have this pain when I turn my neck to the left … lol, just joking … love this sticky note tip and will implement it as soon as I find a pen … ah, first entry on todays sticky note – get pens …
I’m looking forward to reading this… If I have time.
K.I.S.S. to the max — a productivity system that doesn’t require a Ph.D., 5 hours of video watching and a piece of software to implement in use.
Just a trip to the stationary store (do those actually still exist?)
The hard part will be stopping at 5 things.
But … that will just make you more eager the next day to do the next ones.
Unbelievable nice, sweet, simple & effective.
Thanks man, appreciate it.
Ben thanks for the great idea… I have pack of those bad boys right here. Am writing down Tuesdays List. Thanks for all you do and share. Take Care and I will see you Tuesday nite.
Hey Dr. B,
Thanks for the tip!
I’ve also found that crossing off tasks can be VERY cathartic and will be adding this to my focus arsenal.
I like this!
I’ve tried Time Blocking, but because I am OCD to the max (at times) I always take longer than the blocks.
So I’ve resigned myself to however long it takes – as long as it gets done (right).
Most recently I’ve tried the “FastAttackPLAN” approach. (Even made a special spreadsheet for it.)
That was better, and allowed me to track time-wasting habits and priorities.
But this has the advantage of – Simplicity and (ultimate) Portability.
However, there is one problem / question I have with this that others might share -
The definition of “a task”. As any almost any task can be broken down further, the biggest problem with this could be -
defining meaningful tasks / accomplishments that actually get you somewhere.
e.g. – cleaning / organizing my office to a high degree could take a whole day.
It would make me feel a lot better, but wouldn’t improve my bottom line one bit.
Further thought required…
Almost forgot – the best part of your method (imho) is -
when you’re done – YOU ARE DONE.
Brilliant Pure K.I.S.S. I’m off to get my sticky notes now!
P.S. Just noticed something funny -
I wrote my 5 down for tomorrow and my usually loopy and sprawling handwriting was so tight (and readable!) that -
I could l amost fit another 5 tasks on the sticky. ;-0 Argggh
Many years ago when 3M came out with their sticky notes, the first ever in existence I believe,
my personal assistant told me: *Willy, I’ve got just the thing for you*.
She knew my habit of sticking notes with tape on my desk. Pff: What an invention and I never
*looked* back, always there for me to use – to irritate me of course as a procastrinat*ress.
Note: I did use the PC sticky note variety, however I found myself becoming a terrible liar,
hiding it too: no good for me therefore, I need to SEE it to get irritated with it, i.e. the messy
sight of it (in my otherwise neat office).
Dr. Ben’s gift I shall have printed out to ensure that also I DO NOT forget staying focussed.
Thank you, Dr. Ben
Awesome. This is an excellent twist on what I’ve always done with sticky notes (which is write positive statements and stick ‘em on my monitor). Neon sticky notes work grand!
Never thought of using them as you suggested – grand grand grand. Will do that today!
Simply love your work dude
Once again my good friend Ben has come forward with some good advice.
This is gold. I have to laugh when so many come out with productivity guides and products that
are just way too convoluted – I mean if I could follow some major productivity plan do you think I
would be struggling with getting crap done?
This simple method is gonna get us all on track.
Thanks Ben for sharing.
You are a credit to the IM space for sure!
I can’t believe what a bunch of sheep consider writing tasks on sticky notes an eye opening breakthrough.
I love it when someone makes fun of something that is helping others because they are “so much smarter” than everyone else. This might not be for you Samantha but considering that you don’t have any respect for those that this might help, feel free to hit the unsubscribe button on my email. I don’t really care to send out an email to someone who takes time out of their day to belittle others.
Best of luck in the future but please find somewhere else to be negative.
Just a hint: In The grand scheme of things… You’re a part of the problem.
Why don’t you take a minute and figure out how you can add something
Instead of cutting others down.
When something wont work for me… I don’t usually take the time to comment on it. What’s your motivation for being so
Refreshing and sage advice as always! I’ve used the Sticky Note pc desktop version before but each sticky note had it’s own “to do”‘ not a list of 5 as you suggested. Will definitely be utilizing your method as I tend to be scattered all over the place. Between my full time j.o.b. as a construction project manager and also attempting to get my marketing consulting off the ground – I’m running in different directions when I know I must focus on one task at a time. And we all know where that gets us…..DIZZY and no valuable / productive work being accomplished.
Thanks Dr. Ben for passing along to us what you have gone through in your practice and what has worked for you!
NICE! I often times get bogged down with “too much to do!” I’ll put this to task Dr. Ben. Thanks for the heads up!
Hi Ben and readers,
I agree, will restart it (had done it before and it works. If you’re into a little bit more tech you could use this, I like it. It is Dennis Beckers Action Enforcer. The fact that you put a time on an action and then…. start the counter that counts the time down, has a strange but very effective influence on people. I didn’t believe it untill I tried it ( I got it with him 5 bucks a day program. But you can order it without it if …. you think that this would help you, not necessary anyway.
Here is a link to the manual so you can see what it does, no affiliate link, just info.
Maybe it can help one or two people that is all.
drs Henry J. Kruizinga
Dennis is a good friend and a really smart guy. I love action enforcer but it didn’t work for me. I do know alot of people who swear by it though!
Thanks for the FOCUS tool.
Great advice Ben! Thanks! I’m a dreadful procrastinator so it’s good to know that the problem can be conquered and turned around – you always seem to me to be a productivity machine!
I already use sticky notes, but tend to put way too much on them (I have very small writing). Invariably nothing ever gets finished and I leap around from item to item throughout the day.
Leaving the sticky note attached to the rest of the pad until completion is a nice touch to prevent you from being tempted to create yet more sticky note to-do lists to plaster all over the place (I’m a bugger for this – just ask my family, lol!)
Right, I’m off to find my Post-Its…
I make a to do list daily at work. My biggest problem is the fact that I have extreme writers block when it comes to writing up a to do list.
Most of the time I am walking my department and see something that needs to be done, I just do it. If try to write it down ,well Ican’t , and thje task doe not get done.So is there anything that I can try to over come this problem? It has taken me almost 20 minutes to write this short note.
Great concept. Simple and to the point. I used to make lists and I accomplished a lot more. Don’t know how I got away from it, but your report has encouraged me to go back to it by using your system.
When I was a part of the “employed” class, I used, with some success, a daily “To Do” list written on a yellow legal pad. It worked well, but, one page of a legal pad can be a massive list of items, and, at times, I would still find myself overwhelmed. I’m sure this micro version will be much more effective. Will begin implementing this today. Thanks Ben.
Hey Dr. Ben/Sticky,
Excellent Tip and Thanks so much for sharing! I even purchased “Green Stickies” so it motivates me for “Mo Money’! Great concept and Yu Rock!