The Challenge of Staying On Track

The Challenge of Staying On Track

Uh Oh, I just “caught” myself playing another game on the computer. It’s a jigsaw puzzle program that I use to inspire my creativity. At least that is what I tell myself. If I get stuck on a project, I slip over and put in just a few pieces. Ok, sometimes more than a few pieces.

But what I find happens when I step away too long,  is that my project, writing and my focus slips behind. And that got me thinking about what else is lagging. What other things do I have on my to do list that I am not doing?

I’m not talking about the dishes or laundry. I’m talking about the commitments, both personal and professional I made that I know will improve my life. Exercise for one. Keeping that promise to myself to walk 20 minutes every day plus some stretching and toning exercises in my pursuit to get fit.

Organization is another one of my challenges. I have a stack of business cards to enter into my computer. Then there are emails to respond to and phone calls to keep track of and the calendars! Data entry is not my favorite task, but that aside, which program do I use. I have tried so many different ones that haven’t been the one with the bells and whistles I need. I’m not that complicated, but some of the programs or apps I have tried have been, and it overwhelms me.

But my biggest challenge is working from home. I look up and see a million things that need to be done from housework to home projects to the weeds creeping into the garden and I am distracted and diving into that puzzle once again.

It’s time for a new plan. One, that will keep me organized and productive. Because frankly, the plan I have (or really don’t have) is akin to being on a hamster wheel – I’m moving but getting nowhere.

Here are the 3 things that helped me get back on track.

Get An Accountability Partner- Find someone to hold you accountable, but make it a two-way street. If you can help them with something too, it becomes a win-win situation. It can be a task list or chart that you email daily or weekly. They don’t have to live next door. But if they do and they have the same goal you do (exercise for example) you might be able to meet to accomplish the goal together. This can work for any kind of activity – it’s just a matter of checking in and sharing your progress

Ask Others What Works For Them – Instead of trying out every new thing that comes along, or trying to evaluate all the options, ask your friends and colleagues what has worked for them and why. I finally found the perfect program to manage my contacts and projects with ease, simply by checking in with busy people who rely on products like these every day. It helped narrow down the choices to just a few to try out and I don’t have the overwhelm of too many choices on the menu anymore.

Work In An Environment Conducive To Getting Things Done – My home may be my castle, but it is not the best place for me to get work done that is not home related. While many people can work effectively from home, I know that I need a different scenario. Some people may find that inspiration in a busy coffee shop, others might seek out a co-op workspace or a library. I ended up joining a business club that has general as well as private work areas depending on what my needs are for the day. What matters is finding a place that suits your own style that allows you to be inspired, productive and feel good in the process.

Our lives get into a routine that can be exciting or feel boring and we often have to mix it up a bit. I’m not getting rid of my computer jigsaw puzzle just yet, but I don’t use it as a go-to excuse when I’m stuck. Instead, I look for inspiration with and from others and, by putting myself in a place where more inspiration happens.

Photo: Flickr


  1. Another great article, Barbara. Thank you, for always inspiring me.

    • Thank you Sherry! I love inspiring!!