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10 Tips for Tackling your Day with Focus and Strategy!

Updated on October 21, 2013
I keep many calendars.  This one is in my kitchen on the wall.  I don't use this one to write on.  It's decorative and helps me keep track of dates.
I keep many calendars. This one is in my kitchen on the wall. I don't use this one to write on. It's decorative and helps me keep track of dates. | Source


I'm writing this one for my friend and fellow Hubber, Joe of hawaiianodysseus.

He asked for it!


I was thinking the other day how the world was a much different place before the internet. While on one hand, it may have been less productive for some. But on the other, I can't imagine my granny getting half of the work done that she used to do single-handedly, like ironing grandpa's handkerchiefs, if she had access to Google.

Back in that time, focus and energy were consistently placed on prioritizing chores. For example, garbage is taken out in the morning, dinner made in the afternoon, kitchen cleaned at night, and the floors mopped to start the day over again tomorrow.

Soap Operas were popular and could have accounted for a slight increase of nonproductive moments in the home.

Without the internet though, the world would have not seen as nearly as many work-from-home opportunities as it does today.

Immediately following the birth of my first child, I couldn't stand the thought of being home and not doing anything to bring in money after being a professional most of my adult life. I researched and started my very own first business! I owned and managed an online boutique! It did quite well. I absolutely learned the ins and outs of inventory, merchandising, stocking virtual rows, accepting online payments and shipping parcels. One holiday, I was shipping out over 30 packages a day. My mail carrier literally runs the other way now when she sees me in the neighborhood. It was a different climate. The economy was healthier and more stable. I was able to do well and achieve my goals because I also didn't have the responsibilities that I've grown in to having now in this stage of life.

When I started working from home, the most challenging of them all was figuring out how to put as much focus in to my work at home as I did when I was getting paid to work for someone else.

I have a duo-style calendar with lots of room to write in a calendar at-a-glance section.
I have a duo-style calendar with lots of room to write in a calendar at-a-glance section. | Source
I also use the coordinating agenda sections to prioritize daily and weekly tasks.
I also use the coordinating agenda sections to prioritize daily and weekly tasks. | Source

Tip #1: Schedule your time!

I am a calendar junkie. There is a stick-on calendar on my fridge where I write out my weekly appointments.

I may have even talked about this before in an older Hub because it's so important to me.

My brain is tired and mushy. That means I have to keep reminders around everywhere.

This week, school has half days on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday for teacher conferences.

My husband has to call the repair shop today, Monday, because our van just failed emissions testing and needs work done.

Tuesday, the oil truck is coming to fill the oil tank and I just hope he comes after I get the children off to school.

Wednesday, we have a one-hour appointment with my son's Autism therapist, as well as an evening appointment with Occupational Therapy. In addition, I have to be at a teacher's meeting at 5:30 p.m., right in between the other appointments.

Some days, I'm not sure how I am able to get it all done. But certainly without my calendars, nothing would get done, because I would forget half of what I have to do.

Use a Calendar.
By using a calendar instead of an electronic device, the tasks are in front of you on paper, versus stored in a machine.

Get into good habits now.

Train your brain to get in to focus and form good habits now.

That way you will automatically apply the habits to daily strategizing and task organizing.

  • Prioritize
  • Focus
  • Strategize
  • Plan ahead
  • Achieve

Just a note!

Make a daily agenda too!

Focus on what you need to do one day at a time.

Tip #2: Keep daily goals in focus above all else.

When you calendar appointments and tasks that you want to get done, it allows you to keep those items in the forefront of your day and mind.

Having it written down on paper establishes a record of transfer from your mind to the task list.

This is beneficial in two ways.

First, it clears your mind of clutter. Too much on the brain and we can go in to overload capacity.

Second, it gives you a place to focus your thoughts.

In this world, a lot of people use electronics to calendar daily appointments and tasks. Even when I worked in a professional office and used electronic gadgets myself, I never relied on them for scheduling. It was too easy to overlook something or forget. It was "out of sight and out of mind". It was stored in an electronic device, that may or may not have had a reminder, but even still, it wasn't in front of me.

The only way I've personally been able to focus on tasks at hand is if they are written down in front of me. The act of writing them also plays an equivalent part in remembering to focus.

A lot of people use electronic devices and go through their daily tasks with focus and breeze. That's great. I wish I could be like that. But with everything I have going on, with caring for other people, pets, and children, it only works when I write it down.

Now that the agenda items are written down (or stored in an electronic device), you must remember to focus on those first.

  • If you have an appointment that requires preparation, do that first. Don't procrastinate.
  • Look ahead in your schedule for the week as well. If you are planning on bringing cupcakes to the bake sale, make sure you have a list of ingredients you will need next time you stop at the store instead of waiting until you start your mixer and realize you have no flour in the pantry.
  • When you have more than one thing scheduled at the same time, such as in my case on Wednesday with three appointments and only one of me, make sure you have a back-up helper. Or, re-schedule an appointment to make everything fit.

Just a note!

I've gone through four calendars in two years. They get so full, I have to buy a new one every six months.

Tip #3: It's not healthy to schedule one appointment on top of another.

I fell in to this trap the year my son was diagnosed with Autism.

It was horrendous. We had so many medical appointments, I didn't have time to think. I was running on empty, hoping that my coffee would last until I got to the next medical facility with a cafeteria.

This is not a healthy way to live. By all means, if you can avoid this, do so. Trust me, we are not meant to be super heroes. As much as I would love to wear spandex and a red cape all day, in hopes it would help me fly faster, it's not realistic.

The point is, many places today schedule appointments based on their schedule. For example, the dentist office fits you in when it's convenient to them.

I stopped living by that rule when it began to interfere with my schedule. Now, I bring my schedule with me everywhere. In fact, I use a tote bag instead of a purse for this very reason. My schedule needs to fit in it.

When you are at the dentist office, and they want you to schedule your next appointment when it's convenient for them, you tell them when you are available. Don't settle for anything beyond that and if they can't accommodate your request six months in advance, time to find a new dentist!

Apron styles.

This is an apron I picked up at a local store.  It doesn't have pockets though, so I only wear it to cover my clothing.
This is an apron I picked up at a local store. It doesn't have pockets though, so I only wear it to cover my clothing. | Source
I paid 17 cents for this apron at Home Depot.  It's a cloth tool belt with two pockets that ties around the waist.
I paid 17 cents for this apron at Home Depot. It's a cloth tool belt with two pockets that ties around the waist. | Source
This is a nurse's scrub top.  I bought it on clearance for $3 and use it as an apron.  It has two pockets.  I bought a larger size to go over my clothing.
This is a nurse's scrub top. I bought it on clearance for $3 and use it as an apron. It has two pockets. I bought a larger size to go over my clothing. | Source

Tip #4: Utilize resources to help you become more efficient.

This is one piece of helpful advice I learned after starting my home-based business and trying to train three dogs new tricks.

Seriously, everything happened at once in my life.

I got married, got sick, my son was diagnosed with Autism, I adopted three dogs, and became paralyzed for eight days. I had to learn to walk again, while trying to run a home-based business, and taking care of my son's medical and schooling needs.

If you want to know how to become efficient, just ask me! I've been there, done that, and while people think I'm a little crazy, crazy has helped me become who I am.

  1. Get yourself an apron. As nutty as this one sounds, like who buys an apron except for cooking in the kitchen or making a cake? The point of an apron is to protect yourself from spilled flour right? Not necessarily! I am constantly running from one appointment to the next. I don't have extra money to buy new clothes. I can't possibly stop and change during the day several times. So, I bought an apron. I wear it. Why? Because if I were to spill my coffee or if a pen were to burst while I was writing, I'd be protected from stains. It also helps me stay focused. When I have the apron on, I'm in work mode.
  2. Wear a Tool Belt. This sounds funny too right? Not really! They are extremely useful and cost less than one dollar at your local Home Depot. They have several pockets. If I am outdoors with my dogs, I can keep my keys, whistle, treats all in the pockets and have free hands to work with the dogs.
  3. Wear nurse scrub tops. These tops can be worn instead of aprons. They have pockets.

Again, the points here are to protect your clothing and to have free hands! When you have free hands, you will work much more efficiently than if you are running around trying to find your glasses that you left on top of your head.

Tip #5. Stop playing Farmville.

This one hits close to home.

When I first got out of the hospital after thyroid surgery two years ago, I was supposed to be working for a client designing bulletin boards and scrapbook pages for nursing home residents. I became wound up in Farmville. For some reason, it drew me in with addictive qualities and I couldn't free myself from it's tight grip.

My husband noticed one day that I was healing from surgery and should have been able to do light stuff around the house. He asked me why I was playing on a computer with fake animals and crops when I have the real thing to tend to outside?

I looked at my husband and started laughing hysterically.

What a stupid concept. There I was, enjoying Farmville so much, that I had calendared as I obsessively do, when my crops needed picking and planting so they wouldn't wilt. He told me if I had that much zest for the real thing outside, we'd grow enough food for a small village.

So, lesson learned from me, regardless what game you play, just stop. I know it's difficult. I had withdrawals for weeks. I even had nightmares about my crops wilting. But seriously, whether you play candy craze, mine sweep or whatever other free game on the computer, take a step back and re-evaluate what's more important.

People used to tell me all the time on Farmville, the ones I connected with on Facebook, that their house wasn't clean and they had no food in the cupboards, but they had a really high score and just won a free unicorn on Farmville!

My Farmville Farm before I stopped playing.


Tip #6: Don't let negativity zap your focus.

Here's a really important point to ponder.

I think we've all been there at some time.

For example, yesterday my family went for a car ride on a beautiful fall day, looking at the leaves changing. The air was crisp. We were all in a great mood. We stopped to get a snack at the local coffee shop. Cheerfully we go to leave, and a customer outside of the door, barges through us, almost spilling our beverages (including mine that was hot), didn't apologize, no excuse me, and didn't thank me for holding the door open!

That bothered me. And then, of course, I couldn't stop thinking about that rude person. How dare she! I thought about what I should have said to her and how I really wanted to march right back in there and tell her I'd like to thank her mother for never teaching her any manners!

But then, who would be the rude one then? That would be very rude of me. Eventually I calmed down, but my husband told me that we shouldn't dwell on people like that. We should be thankful we aren't like them. What an empty existence it must be to live a life like that, not stopping to enjoy the small stuff.

While my focus was on the beautiful day, I did allow it to be taken away by that rude person, only for a short time, until we turned on the radio and started singing to our favorite songs. It then brought me back to a positive note.

Tip #7: Prepare for appointments ahead of time.

I'm guilty about this one.

Often times I have appointments that need a lot of preparation, and I wait to the last minute.

I admit it, I procrastinate. I just don't like doing thing I don't like to do. I know it should be done first, but I wait until I have to do it. It's not a healthy way to do things.

Looking forward in my calendar this week, I see on Thursday I have a school meeting to discuss my son's amazing progress he has accomplished during this school year. It should be a happy meeting. But even still, it's a meeting. Thank goodness it's not on a Monday. I don't like Monday meetings at all, and I've had my share of those! You'd think I would start today and get those folders organized so they'd be ready to go out the door with me come Thursday morning. But no, I'm going to wait like always until Thursday comes. Then while I'm rushing around doing a hundred other things it will dawn on me that I have to be out the door in a few minutes, and I never organized the folders.

So take it from me, don't stress yourself by waiting and procrastinating! It's not worth it. Plan ahead for items on your weekly calendar.

How many times do you shop at the grocery store every week?

See results

Tip #8: Make one store trip a week.

Schedule time to go to the grocery store.

I've gotten in to a terrible habit. I go to the grocery store several times a week. That's counter-productive to my schedule.

I keep a whiteboard on the fridge to mark down any grocery items we need from the next shopping trip. But lately, I go out several times a week and buy those items, including a big shopping trip once a week. What a waste of gas and time!

Here are some tips for avoiding that trap:

  • Plan ahead for meals. Prepare a list of meals you want to make for the week and write down a list of ingredients to take with you to the store.
  • Shop once a week. Ask ahead of time what everyone in your household would like and pick it up at the weekly shopping trip.
  • Keep a generic list. Print out a generic list of items you buy every week. I keep a home inventory so I know what items we are out of or are coming close to running out so that I can buy them ahead of time.

Tip #9: Keep your phone off.

If you are feeling bogged down by intrusive phone calls, keep your phone off.

I started doing that a couple of years ago. Because there were two of us that needed medical care at one time, I was often interrupted with phone calls on a daily basis. My son and I both had a case manager from our insurance company, as well as numerous doctor appointments.

Those calls obviously took priority over anything else.

It became painful to have to repeat to well-intending friends why I couldn't stay on the phone with them. Eventually, I turned my phone off and only returned calls to the most important first. Everyone else had to wait.

Tip #10: Plan time for fun.

Life isn't supposed to be about working 24/7, nonstop.

We aren't machines. We are complicated beings with arteries and vessels that work together in rhythmical motion. But yet, we also need to stay upbeat and active. Sitting down or rushing off constantly is no way to live.

Take it from me, you have no choice in this life but to live. So live it with focus and determination to be the best you can be, including scheduling time for fun.

Or hey, even better, if your spouse comes home unexpectedly, don't shrug them off to work. In the spur of the moment, rekindle that passion that once brought you together.

Five minutes of happiness will make up for ten minutes of being overworked.

Road trip to New York.



I realize these suggestions may not apply to everyone.

How do you attack your day with focus? Please comment below and tell us how you get it all done.


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    • CraftytotheCore profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago

      Hi Au Fait, thank you for sharing your story here. My son has been going to school for 1/2 days because of some neurological issues that came up recently. It's been so challenging to get anything done around here, so I'm glad to have the opportunity to revisit this Hub.

      I find that when I'm tired, nothing gets done no matter how hard I try. Today I'm exhausted. I've had several meetings this week, morning and evening appointments, and I seriously need a break. My son gets out in an hour and all I've done is comment here today so far.

      One thing that helps me keep going with focus is creating a routine and structure. I find that if I do the same things every day at the same time regardless of my schedule, it's easier to keep up than to try to catch up. So what I mean by that is if I bring the kids to school, then start the dishes right away, I develop a momentum. Then the bathrooms get cleaned, then the floors, and because it's done every day, I can keep up better than trying to catch up with a week's worth of housework for example.

      But it hasn't been easy for me lately either because my schedule has just become doctor offices, school meetings, appointments, etc.

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 

      5 years ago from North Texas

      Lots of great ideas here for keeping one on schedule and organized. I turn my phone off whenever I need to focus on anything important. Thankfully, I never got started on video games. They have just never appealed to me.

      I like your point of focusing on your to-do list and not letting the overall situation of life overwhelm a person to where they can't get anything done. I have that problem. There is so much to do that I don't know where to start and I'm inclined not to start or to give up early on. I'm so far behind in household chores I think I can never catch up.

      I've heard how focusing on a small chore for just a few minutes or an hour and then moving on can help a person get a project done one piece at a time, but that just doesn't seem to work either. Going to try again as you have suggested. At this point the only thing I manage to do is go to work on time and keep the bills paid. That's something and it's important for sure, but everything else is so out of control . . .

      Appreciate your sharing this. I guess sometimes just hearing or reading someone else's solution that works for them can be a help in refocusing and starting again. Maybe this time it will work for me too.

    • CraftytotheCore profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago

      Hi Ologsinquito. Yes, I like the internet too. Too much at times. I don't do well when appointments are scheduled back-to-back. It's very exhausting and hard to keep track of everything. But at the same time, like this week, I have 3 appointments all spaced out. Monday I had to take my daughter to the dentist. Today I had a school meeting. Friday my son has a therapy appointment. So, while I don't like back-to-back, sometimes spaced out like this week also hinders the amount of productivity I can achieve this week. Thank you so much for stopping by.

    • CraftytotheCore profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago

      Hi Josh! Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting.

    • Josh Makaveli profile image

      Josh Makaveli 

      5 years ago from Sanfrancisco, CA

      this is so interesting that how we really forget about the things we must do and they too small to even bother. This is amazing stuff on how to manage things and be focus.

    • ologsinquito profile image


      5 years ago from USA

      It is interesting to think about all the things we'd be doing if it weren't for the Internet. But I like having the Internet. I agree about not scheduling appointments back to back.

    • CraftytotheCore profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago

      Hi Tom! It's so good to see you. For the first time in probably two years, I do not have one appointment this week. And wouldn't it be the case, that we had snow here so no school today! LOL I really just need a day to relax and catch up on life in general. But it's been fun. My children are here painting, crafting, and enjoying the snow outside. I have no complaints. All is well. As I hope it is for you too my friend.

    • Tom Mukasa profile image

      Tom Mukasa 

      5 years ago from Lives in USA

      Craftytothecore, can you believe I still have problems adjusting to the month/day/year nomenclature I do mix it with the day/month/year from my yesteryears! I now have tricks to help me be mindful. I did appear for an appointment on a wrong date. That will not happen again.

      Thanks for the insightful write-ups.

    • CraftytotheCore profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago

      Hi Vespawoolf! Thank you so much for your comments and input here. They are truly appreciated.

    • vespawoolf profile image


      5 years ago from Peru, South America

      These are great reminders. I tend to schedule appointments back-to-back, and you're's not a good idea. I also believe in calendars and use them to prioritize. I agree that online games can be a huge waste of time! The internet can be a tool or a distraction...we need to focus to use it to our advantage. Thank you for sharing!

    • CraftytotheCore profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago

      Hi Tom! Thank you for your input. Wow, that's really interesting information. Good questions my friend. It's nice to see you!

    • Tom Mukasa profile image

      Tom Mukasa 

      5 years ago from Lives in USA

      Now, this is a great trick.I keep two types of calendars. One on which I have key dates from another side of the world ( which is a day earlier) and one on which I note the present day events. Thanks for writing about some of the tools that have shaped the way humans look at and understand the world. Where I come from telling the days, nights and weather belonged to elders and medicine people. They were the gurus. An intricate culture revolved around 'forecasting.' Do you think the glass ball is part of this? Why were the Romans so obsessed with time?

    • CraftytotheCore profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago

      Thank you redfive! It's nice to see you. Thanks so much for your very thoughtful and kind comments.

    • redfive profile image

      Levy Tate 

      5 years ago from California, USA

      You've got some amazing ideas here -- thanks for sharing them! I myself have been struggling staying focused, so I could really use some of these tips.

      Keep writing, awesome person! Voted up :)

    • CraftytotheCore profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago

      Hi Caseymel! So kind of you to stop by and comment. I have an older cell phone so it doesn't really have a good calendar system. But I could totally see how an iphone would be incredibly handy!

    • caseymel profile image

      Melanie Casey 

      5 years ago from Indiana

      Great tips! Technology both helps me and gets in my way. I keep my whole schedule on my iPhone calendar. It lets me know what I need to do each day. On the other hand, it is so easy to waste time on my phone too.

    • CraftytotheCore profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago

      Hi Tom! LOL Well, I'll tell you what, if you write it, I will read it! Thanks for stopping by and commenting my friend.

    • Tom Mukasa profile image

      Tom Mukasa 

      5 years ago from Lives in USA

      Craftytothecore, I do all the ten but what must I do to inherit the Kingdom of heaven?? Here I am sounding like the other young rich one before the Nazarene Philosopher Teacher! Anyway, you have made my evening again. I hear Farmville when the lot crops are wilting!! Hahahaha!

    • CraftytotheCore profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago

      Hi Tobusiness! Today was a bad day for me. I should take my own advice sometimes. I had so much to do and could only focus on one thing all day. I really lost a lot of time. Thank you so much for commenting!

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 

      5 years ago from Lincolnshire, U.K

      A brilliant hub, very useful! At work I'm very organised, but at home, well...that's another story. :)

    • CraftytotheCore profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago

      Hi Mel! Trust me, LOL, Farmville is very addictive. It was useful after surgery, but I drew me in far after I recovered. It's like that candy crush game that's so addictive. I've stopped playing them all together to take back my day.

    • CraftytotheCore profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago

      Hi Mary! It's so nice to see you. Thank you very much for commenting.

    • CraftytotheCore profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago

      Hi Eiddwen, thanks so much for your lovely comments.

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 

      5 years ago from San Diego California

      Great words of wisdom. I actually wish I had time to play Farmville but I am burning the candle at both ends and in the middle. I admire you for juggling all those tasks.

    • Mary Cimeni profile image

      Mary Cimeni 

      5 years ago from Philippines

      I can see myself through your hub. WOnderful :-)

    • Eiddwen profile image


      5 years ago from Wales

      A wonderful hub and thank you for sharing. Enjoy your weekend.


    • CraftytotheCore profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago

      Hi Ann! Thank you for sharing your story with me. I also have list on top of list, and then sticky notes on top of those. LOL Sometimes I think I'd forget my brain if it wasn't attached.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 

      5 years ago from SW England

      I have to write things down and I have to have the 'concrete' word in front of me. I have been known to make lists of lists. I must admit it's easier now to organise myself as I'm retired though at times I feel I'm doing more than I used to at work. A calendar is essential because I can't forget the baby-sitting nor the 'ladies wot lunch' commitments, both of which I thoroughly enjoy of course, let alone the dentist and doctor's appointments (the latter become more frequent with age but I don't have too many yet).

      Brilliant hub for those who need to manage their time better. Up etc. Ann

    • CraftytotheCore profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago

      Hi Koralee! I know what you mean about scrabble. I started playing that one too, but it didn't last long. I had to pull myself away! Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting.

    • KoraleeP profile image

      Koralee Phillips 

      5 years ago from Penticton British Columbia Canada

      These are great ideas. I really like your apron idea, and totally agree with shutting your phone off. The phone is so distracting, I always shut it off, and turn it back on when I get a break.

      Scrabble was my time killer. I had to delete the application off Facebook, because I can't just play it sometimes lol.

    • CraftytotheCore profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago

      Thank you so much Sushma for your kind and wonderful comments.

    • Sushma Webber profile image

      Sushma Webber 

      5 years ago from New Zealand

      I am in the process of organizing my life to work from home in a professional way and your article has been a great help. I will be sharing it on Facebook. Voted up!

    • CraftytotheCore profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago

      Thank you so much for commenting Creativesq for your comments! I do have a basic phone with a calendar and use it when I'm out when I don't have a pen available. It does come in handy on the go! But I have to transfer everything to my written calendar or I still forget! LOL

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Love your hub. I am an organization freak and I also use different calendars. And I find my phone calendar to be very useful. It has reminders for every event I add so I do not miss any. But when I have several task running the same day it really helps to write them down and check them off as the have been done. I really find this hub very fun, enjoyable and useful. I hope to read more of these.

    • CraftytotheCore profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago

      Hi Schoolmom! Thank you for sharing your story and commenting here. It sounds like you have a lot on your plate. Yesterday and today have been brutal on my schedule. I had three meetings last night and one this morning. It's hard getting anything else done on days like that. I seem to just run on empty during those times. Now I finally have a break and wouldn't you know, the neighbors are cutting down trees and running them through a wood chipper. Just when I am home and trying to concentrate on catching up! LOL

    • Schoolmom24 profile image


      5 years ago from Oregon

      This really hits home to me! My mom, who is in her 80's, recently fell plus was diagnosed with health problems and we have brought her here from the hospital to stay with us. Lots of appts, phys. therapists coming here, and trying to make decisions about her long term home are suddenly thrust upon me as I continue to home school my kids, 11 and 14. So I can completely identify with the times of your life of chaotic schedules you described! I am a procrastinator by nature as well plus I'm not very organized with paperwork, ect. I do write things down the old fashioned way, too, on a calendar. It really does help me tremendously! But I need to get better about making daily goals. I thought your apron idea was very interesting...aprons aren't as common as they were decades ago but I like the mindset behind it. Thanks for some great pointers and encouragement!

    • CraftytotheCore profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago

      Thank you so much lyricwriter! I will definitely keep you in mind because I have a very bland basic website right now that I created from my limited knowledge. I am a stickler for good filing too, especially since I've had to deal with so many medical papers. Otherwise, it piles up everywhere and I can't find anything. Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting!

    • CraftytotheCore profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago

      Hi Moonlake! LOL Sometimes that happens to me too! Sometimes, I actually spend more time planning than doing. So true. Thank you so much for commenting.

    • CraftytotheCore profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago

      Hi Alicia! Yes, when I worked in a professional office, I did in fact have a day planner. They were great! I loved the customized organization on those, but then after becoming a mom, I switched to a family type calendar. Now I just use whatever. I'm such a nut about calendars. Thank you so much for commenting!

    • CraftytotheCore profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago

      Jackie, times were really tough for a while. My health went from perfect to disaster literally overnight. Thank you so much for your wonderful comments!

    • CraftytotheCore profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago

      Hi Rebecca! Thanks so much for stopping by and your lovely comments.

    • CraftytotheCore profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago

      Hi Wetnose! It sounds like we definitely share some of the same code of ethics for getting our day accomplished.

    • CraftytotheCore profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago

      Hi Millionaire Tips! It's so nice to see you today. I never really get very far with anything productive when I don't focus on my schedule!

    • CraftytotheCore profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago

      PegCole, that's a brilliant idea about the color coded schedules. I will definitely try that. I'm always seeking new ideas to stay ahead of my schedule. Thank you for your wonderful comments.

    • CraftytotheCore profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago

      Hi tillsontitan! Thank you so much for your kind and gracious comments. I found some really cute pocket notebooks with little snap enclosures for my purse too and those come in handy too.

    • thelyricwriter profile image

      Richard Ricky Hale 

      5 years ago from West Virginia

      Crafty, these are truly some great tips and very important. I think prioritizing is crucial, especially in business. I do freelance SEO and web design for my clients and having everything in order is crucial. A good faithful calendar and journal can go a long way. If you do work online, you can always use a file system as well. I agree 100% all the way through. Great work, voted up, useful, interesting, awesome, and liked on Facebook.

    • moonlake profile image


      5 years ago from America

      I start the day planning and end up not getting done what I planned on. I do always use a calendar for appointments. Great hub and good information. voted up.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      There are lots of great suggestions in this hub, Crafty. I'm going to apply some of them to my life. Like you, I find that hand written reminders work better than reminders stored in an electronic device. I've noticed that many people where I work also use old fashioned day planners or calendars to record dates and events, even though they also have modern electronic devices!

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 

      5 years ago from The Beautiful South

      Lots of good advice here and sounds like you had your hands full there for awhile and bad health too, wow. I have had my own business not online, I wish, lol but I stay busy and I would get nowhere without writing it down.

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 

      5 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      It sounds like you have really got the reins on your day! Good for Yo, and thanks for sharing these time-saving tips.

    • wetnosedogs profile image


      5 years ago from Alabama

      I agree with Faith Reaper - you should write a book.

      What an excellent hub.

      I write myself notes.

      And I wear smocks cause I just need pockets. They surley come in handy for the keys, etc.

      I only pick up the phone if I have to (at work) and gladly take calls from family. Other than that, I hate when my phone rings.

    • Millionaire Tips profile image

      Shasta Matova 

      5 years ago from USA

      These are great tips. I do find I get a lot more done when I have a plan for the day instead of just winging it. My calendar and to-do lists do help keep everything in focus.

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 

      5 years ago from Northeast of Dallas, Texas

      These are truly crafty tips, Crafty. I agree that writing it down is the only way for me to remember. By seeing it in writing, I can actually forget my shopping list and still see the list in my head.

      I admire your tenacity, which despite your illness and the challenges of having an autistic child, 3 dogs and running a business, you shine like a champ. When I managed projects, I posted color coded schedules on my office wall as a constant reminder of the timelines and due dates for material shipments, deliveries to site, inspections, etc.. I found that this method worked best for my purposes. And PS, I love wearing aprons.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 

      5 years ago from New York

      Oh I do so agree! I know a lot of people use their cell phone for keeping notes and appointments but since I forget to plug mine in to charge half the time I use a pocket calendar. I take it everywhere I go and then write the appointments on the kitchen calendar when I get home.

      I am in awe of all you've accomplished and have to say Joe's one of the best! What a great dedication.

      Voted up, useful, awesome because it is so true, interesting and shared.

    • CraftytotheCore profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago

      I love that idea Sha! I remember doing that when my children were babies. People would stop over a lot without calling. I would finally get them to nap at the same time, and someone would pound on the front door! I finally did the same thing and put up a sign, "quiet, baby sleeping". It was equivalent to one of those door signs at a hotel, like do not disturb. Ridiculous that we have to go through these lengths to get some peace just to do our work! LOL

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      5 years ago from Central Florida

      I recently had to tell a neighbor who has been coming over 5 and 6 times a day to use my phone that it has to stop. I even went so far as to post business hours in the form of a flyer and put it on my front door, with the message that, unless you have an appointment, deliveries are the only reason to interrupt my work day. Just because you work from home doesn't mean people can feel free to drop by (and use your stuff) any time they please. It breaks concentration. I put my foot down and said, "no more".

    • CraftytotheCore profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago

      Thanks so much for your comments DDE! I used to be very organized. I still am to some extent, but with my son's and my medical issues, we are overburdened at times with appointments. It really helps us appreciate the down time though.

    • CraftytotheCore profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago

      Hi Faith! I didn't realize you have such a hefty commute. I did the same for a while. I worked in New Haven, CT (by Yale). I had to drive to a train station 30 minutes from here, then take the train in to the city. My office was 6 blocks from the train which I walked. It's truly amazing how much extra time commuting takes out of a day.

      You are a hard worker Faith! Bless your heart for being such a kind and loving mother and grandmother.

      Thank you so much for your kind comments.

    • CraftytotheCore profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago

      Hi MsDora! Yes, consistency is so important. That's what happened to me after surgery. I got in to the lazy mode and stopped focusing. Thank you so much for commenting!

    • CraftytotheCore profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago

      Hi Flourish! You wouldn't believe how many times I used to have to change my clothes before I decided to buy an apron. It was ridiculous. Either I splashed dish water from the morning dishes, or spilled glitter glue, or stuck my sleeve in something. All the time. The apron saved my clothes! LOL

    • CraftytotheCore profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago

      Joe, you crack me up! I can totally see you sticking a post-it on your cat! LOL It must have driven it crazy. I once put a spare piece of packing tape on the table and the cat got it stuck on his fur. What a riot, the cat ran around. It was torture for the poor thing.

    • CraftytotheCore profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago

      Hi EP! Your dog sounds so cute. Last night, my usual Monday night show wasn't on television and there were no good movies, so I decided to work late in my home office. My cat starts doing loop-de-loops around the house until clawing me in the right leg. I got up and went to the other room. He jumped on my lap and stayed there as if to tell me to stay put for the night. Animals are so cute that way! LOL

    • CraftytotheCore profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago

      Hi Billy! I never used to have trouble focusing when I worked at an office. But now that I'm home, I have way too many distractions, and I find myself running in different directions.

    • CraftytotheCore profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago

      Hi Purl! Thank you so much for your comments. During the summer months when the children are home from school, I would plan a shopping trip once a week. Now they are in school all day and I tend to not be as organized, and I go out shopping more. I've gotten in to a very bad habit! LOL

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      5 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      10 Tips for Tackling your Day with Focus and Strategy! Great ideas here and I am always organized with my days, but don't have as much to do a well put together hub with helpful ways to organize ones day, definitely a useful hub to any reader.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 

      5 years ago from southern USA

      You should write a book Crafty! These are excellent tips to getting organized, and I just love Joe so much. He is such an encourager and one of the sweetest persons around HP Town. Well, as far as my schedule, it is pretty tough, for I get up at 5:30 a.m. with an hour commute into the city (we moved a little over five years ago to a small town in the country, which I love), and so during the week I am away from my home over 10 hours a day. I still have all my doctors in the city where I work and used to live, so if need be, I can go on my lunch hour since I am already there in the city...the cancer center is there too, and I have to go periodically to have blood taken, etc. Tonight I had to stop by my daughter's home, which is on the my way home in another city, as is my son's home in yet a different city, where my grands live. So, I stopped to see them at times during the week, and then arrive home pretty late. Thankfully, I have a good husband who helps out, as he is now retired. I have six more years before that happens, and I am trying to hold out. So, I write and comment late in the evenings during the week and on weekends try to write, if I do not have my grands up for the weekend, as I did last weekend. So, just regular life : )

      Up and more and sharing

      Hugs, Faith Reaper

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      5 years ago from The Caribbean

      Crafty, these are very good suggestion for the making the most of your day. I know from experience that being organized the way you suggest is really important; I'm still trying to be consistent. Thank you so much.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image


      5 years ago from USA

      Excellent ideas on how to focus your time. As helpful as electronics can be, I'm a paper-and-pen girl myself too when it comes to to-do lists and calendars. I like your apron idea!

    • hawaiianodysseus profile image

      Hawaiian Odysseus 

      5 years ago from Southeast Washington state

      Hey, Brandi!

      How very sweet of you to dedicate this excellent hub to me! Nicest thing about this dedication is that the tips are SO helpful to this not-Farmville-but-eBay-addicted workaholic who needs to pull himself away from the computer every now and then and urge the wife to plop down on the couch with me and watch The Voice, Criminal Minds, Hawaii 5-0 and a few others. I truly have literally walked away from the couch potato lifestyle, but as busy as we are with our respective jobs, it's nice to have some quality couch potato chips every now and then.

      I know what you mean about the calendar. My wife is the same way. Me? I have post-its and other pieces of paper taped all over my computer desk. Once, I even put a note on our cat, Kona, and he was NOT a happy camper about that experience. So I'm a little bit more careful these days when it comes to picking out makeshift bulletin boards.

      There was one other issue about this hub of yours that moved me to share a hub of mine with you. I won't do it here in order to comply with the HP rules. Please look for a personal message via your Fan Page.

      Aloha, Brandi, and thank you very much for an excellent read! Voted up and then some and socially media-rized! How's that for word coinage? : )


    • epbooks profile image

      Elizabeth Parker 

      5 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      This was completely perfect. I read each item on this list and nodded in agreement. I've never played Farmville, but I do find myself on the computer way too much. I'm working (which is a good thing), however if I don't stop working, I'm on the pc until 10pm! My dog is actually a great reminder as he literally sits on my lap around 6-7PM EVERY night and if I try to type around him, he nudges my laptop onto the floor. Realizing that he is absolutely right, I give in (plus I don't want my laptop to break)! He knows I need "Playtime" too and forces me to get up and get out. Great hub!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Brandi, I have no problem with focus. :) How nice of you to dedicate this to Joe; he is a great guy and a good friend, and I like seeing nice things done for nice people.

      Great suggestions for those who have a bit of trouble with focus.

    • purl3agony profile image

      Donna Herron 

      5 years ago from USA

      These are some excellent ideas and suggestions for staying focused while working at home. I need to work on only making one shopping/errand trip a week. I think this would take more planning on my part but would save me a lot of time and stress :) I also need to start saying "no" to some of the little requests to volunteer or help with things that come up all the time. MUST STAY FOCUSED :) Thanks for the great ideas! Voted up!


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