Hop To It: 5 Ways to Focus and Get Your To-Do List Done

We have all been there. You have a ton of tasks to get done and a limited number of hours in which to finish it all. Meanwhile your phone keeps beeping, and that one individual still has not gotten back to you with the information you need for the project that is most hanging over your head. Welcome to another stress-inducing day.

Studies, including one done last year at Michigan State University, show that our mental health is affected by our constant multitasking in an effort to try to get it all done.

Last week I had the chance to chat with Neen James, a renowned productivity expert. Neen travels the world helping people by giving realistic strategies for making the most of our time. Here are some of her best tips for becoming a more productive person:

What are some tips for prioritizing our to-do list and reducing stress?

Work on the tough stuff earlier in the day to give yourself a feeling of accomplishment, to motivate you to keep going. Also, know your goals for the day. Ask yourself if the project meets those goals. If not, why are you doing it? If so, how important is it?

What do you find is the biggest inhibitor to productivity?

It varies. Many people now have made themselves available 24/7, so they have created a precedence of constant availability to their colleagues, bosses, and community members.  This, combined with people’s inability (or fear) of saying ‘no’, means people gift their time to everyone else, and don’t always focus on the highest priorities for themselves (but the priorities of other people).

What are some of the best tips for reducing stress by being more productive?

See Neen’s tips in the slideshow below!

  • 5 tips for being your most productive self 1 of 6
    Neen James
  • The power of 15 minutes 2 of 6
    15 Minutes

    Apply the 15 minute rule. In 15 minutes you can think strategically, make a list, workout, make a healthy meal, meditate, call a potential client, have a conversation with someone you love. Instead of trying to do it all - consider breaking down activities and tasks to 15 dedicated (not multi-tasked) minutes. It will help you conquer the world!

  • Grab 3 3 of 6
    Grab 3

    Grab a post it note and each day write down your 3 non-negotiable activities. (So, before your head hits the pillow tonight, what MUST be done.)

  • Be accountable 4 of 6
    Be accontable

    Share your goals/progress/commitments with someone you trust, and have them hold you accountable. Do what you say you will do - KEEP your word!

  • Know when you work best 5 of 6
    Know when you work best

    Know your productivity style. Are you a morning bird or night owl? Work in your best time. Are you a planner or a crammer? Whatever your style, design your life around your sweet spot.

  • Go for the blitz 6 of 6
    Productivity blitz

    Give yourself uninterrupted short productivity bursts to accomplish things that are important to you. Productivity Blitz.


Neen James, MBA CSP, is an Aussie productivity thought leader, best known for her engaging keynotes that have educated and entertained audiences with real-world strategies that apply in all roles at work and in life. With a background in learning and development and managing large teams at various corporations, Neen is a natural fit for organizations looking for presenters that focus on productivity strategies, tools, and resources. Neen also provides one-on-one consulting and mentoring to women on a variety of business issues and topics. Neen is a sought-after media expert and when she isn’t working, she travels the world collecting fabulous shoes and touring on her Harley Davidson motorcycle.


Jessica also recently wrote:

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Why a Lucky Charm May Control Your Fate
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The Surprising Link between Health & Happiness
Want to Live Forever? 7 Ways Exercise Can Help
Cake for Breakfast: Why We Give in Under Pressure

Read more from Jessica at  And be sure to follow her on Twitter too!

Article Posted 3 years Ago
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