The Post it Note Strategy for Avoiding Information Overload and Getting Ahead of your To Do List


Has this ever happened to you? You sit down at your computer to get a few things done and you jump over to Facebook to just spend a couple of minutes seeing what’s going on in Facebook land. The next thing you know, you’ve clicked on an article that has a link to another article. You also signed up for a webinar that you’re sure is going to teach you exactly what you need to get ahead. You also clicked on an article showing the twenty celebrities you didn’t know had facelifts. Within that article you’ve watched an intriguing video and lo and behold, you’ve spent an hour of your time going down the internet wormhole.

If you are actually trying to get some things done for your business this type of information overload can clog the wheels of your mind and leave you dazed and confused. It’s tough staying focused as it is in this fast paced world, but having ads and posts and stories of animal rescue jump at you from nearly every angle online, it’s almost impossible to get anything done.

Just the other morning I got online to work on a blog post about having a digital marketing strategy in business. That was at 8:30am. I found myself so distracted by several articles offering helpful advice on running my business, that it was almost 11am and I had gotten nothing done! This is exactly why I decided to write this blog post as a reminder to myself and hopefully to offer some encouragement for all of you that suffer from the same malady.

So here is the solution. A long time ago my girlfriend saw me look up from my computer starry eyed and unfocused and she made this suggestion. She said “Jen this is my digital marketing strategy, I get a post it note and put it on my computer with 4 things I need to get done that day and I stick to it no matter what. Do not click on anything, do not check Facebook, quit out of your email and stick to your 4 things.”

I thought to myself, “can it really be that simple?!” So I tried it. Here is my list:

  • Write Blog Post
  • Create Call to action on Blog Post
  • Post to FB, Linkedin, Google+
  • Boost FB post to get more views and clicks on post

Guess what it worked! I buckled down. I wrote a blog post that I pulled from a list of blog post ideas I had already created. I wrote that post in 20 minutes. I pulled one gem from the post that I posted on Facebook as well as a link to my blog post. I quickly pulled an image from the internet using my search term and adding “creative commons” at the end so I didn’t break any copyright laws. I copied the whole article and posted it to Linked in along with the same image that I adjusted to fit Linkedin’s size requirements. I also posted my blog link on Twitter and Google+.

All of this took one hour. I had my Post-it note posted to my computer screen so any time my mind started to wander, I saw that little yellow note. It literally laser beamed my concentration.

Here are some other mini strategies to help you concentrate.

  1. Start in the morning before the phone starts to ring and coffee
    has just kicked in.
  2. Don’t check your email. Noting distracts like email.
  3. If you don’t have the idea for what you are trying to accomplish. Schedule an idea generating session. Write these things down and refer to this list later when you are taking action. You can also keep a notebook when things come to you out of the blue.
  4. Quit out of your browsers. The temptation to procrastinate is just too much.

Like any bad habit, it’s easy to slide back into your old ways but if you feel yourself getting distracted, frustrated and unfocused. Pull out that Post-it note and make your list of top priorities for the day.

I’m going to leave you with one more little gem that I use on a daily basis. It’s an app called Wunderlist. It makes checking things off your list super easy.

Jen Baers
Studio 10 Online