Today’s Productivity Tip: Plan a “Softball” Task

Jumpstart Monday | Get your week off to a great start with the Day-Timer blog. Each Monday we offer a new tip to help you gain a more productive week at work and at home.
Today’s tip: Plan a softball task

You have a lot on your plate. So much so you feel like throwing in the towel – and it’s only Monday. Don’t let this overwhelming feeling derail your productivity.

Here’s the trick to having a productive week when you’re overloaded and overwhelmed:

Try This:

Make your first task a “softball” task, one you can easily achieve within 30 minutes. It’s like a slow moving pitch you can knock out of the park with your first swing of the bat.

Some examples:

  • Clean off the top of your desk
  • Sort your inbox
  • Review yesterday’s notes
  • Return an email or phone call

Do something achievable. Then, focus your mind on doing one task at a time, one concern at a time, and one thought at a time.

Here’s Why:

Crossing that first item off your list gives you a tremendous sense of achievement. It’s a real motivational push that sets in motion the process of getting stuff done.

Remember: You can’t get anything accomplished until you accomplish that first task. Get it done. Then, move on and conquer things one-by-one. You’ll be amazed how quickly your stress level will dissipate.

[photo by John Orrell]
Day-Timer Spokesperson Jeff Doubek can be reached at