If you’re working from home or working reduced hours at the moment due to the covid-19 situation, it’s perfectly natural to feel distracted or lacking on the motivation front.  Perhaps you’ve got a million and one things on your business to-do ‘wishlist’, but just don’t know where to start? I’ve devised a novel way of dealing with this if my motivation levels and attention span is waning momentarily – introducing ‘task tombola’.

I have a small glass jar on my desk, filled with pieces of paper with different short tasks written on them.  Once I’ve completed my client work and general day-to-day business admin, if I still have some working time available but aren’t sure what to do because my motivation has gone AWOL, I go fishing in the ‘task tombola’ jar.

Some of the tasks I’ve got written in my jar include the following:

Check in with someone via phone.

It’s important to note that this isn’t a sales call, but a friendly check-in with another human during these uniquely challenging times. Yes, it might mean that they suddenly remember a small task that they could use your help with (an added bonus if your workload has reduced a little recently), but the main thing is that you are maintaining positive communication with others, both for your sanity and theirs!

Write some blogs/record some videos for future website and social media use.

If you’re feeling particularly creative, why not spend 30 minutes or so writing some useful business content? Even if you haven’t got a full blog in you at the moment, drafting some notes, finding some useful references or just writing some future social media content is all useful! Plus, if you’ve had a video conference call earlier in the day and you aren’t looking like you’ve been dragged through a hedge backwards in your pyjamas, why not make the most of your tidy desk/organised background/non-dishevelled self and record a few informative videos?


Yes, it’s not glamourous, but if it helps to keep the paper pile on your desk below 3 feet then it’s a good thing. Why not do something interesting at the same time, like listening to music or a podcast whilst you file?

Complete your tax return.

Who doesn’t feel just a little bit smug when they’ve finally submitted their annual self-assessment tax return? If you’ve got all of your financial records in order, it shouldn’t take too much time to complete your return.  It might also help with some financial planning and goals over the next few months as you prepare your business for post-lockdown life.

Tidy your desk/office.

The old ‘tidy desk, tidy mind’ adage definitely rings true for me, so 30 minutes or so of cleaning and tidying definitely helps to improve motivation and concentration levels when I return to work.  If your work area is already pristine, why not consider a move around or popping some pictures or motivational stuff on the wall? Sometimes a change of scenery is as good as a rest, and might give you that little spring in your step you need to tackle your daily work schedule.

Task tombola doesn’t guarantee you a fun 30 minutes, but it does help to focus the mind on a single task if you are feeling distracted.  At the end of the day, as long as we’re all getting through the madness of the lockdown period, we can’t ask for more than that! Stay safe everyone!

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