DEFINITION – Stay focused with a Tangent Log

Headshot of Grace Marshall, Think Productive UK Nijja, Midlands - time management courses


Grace Marshall is our Productivity Ninja for the Midlands

She blogs at and can be found on Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin

This tip comes from  21 Ways to Manage the Stuff that Sucks Up Your Time.


Sometimes our biggest distractions do not come from our external environment, but from inside our heads, when our brains come alive with ideas, thoughts, and reminders that have nothing to do with the task at hand.

This is commonly known as “shiny object syndrome”.

This child is being distracted. She needs a tangent log to stay productive!

My brain is extremely creative when I am trying to focus, Some of my best ideas come when I am concentrating on something else!

however if I choose to abandon what I am doing and follow that ideas, something else will come along and divert me onto another path, and then another, resulting in many great ideas half-started, hours whittled away down rabbit holes, and nothing actually completed, accomplished, or produced.

Capture ideas with a tangent log

One way to capture these brilliant ideas without chasing shiny objects is to keep a tangent log.

Keep a notebook next to you when you are focusing. Use it to write down anything that comes to mind that’s not relevant to your current focus. Every time you go off on a tangent, write it down. Capture the thought and get it out of your head, so you don’t have to keep remembering it.

Later, when the task at hand is done, you can come back to your tangent log, take your pick of which brilliant idea you want to work on next, and work on it purposefully until completion.


If you or your employee’s want to learn “How to Get things Done” our workshops add value to your bottom line, by saving time, reducing stress and increasing productivity.


Like this? Try these

 Give one of our time management workshops (with a difference) a go!

5 Ways to Stop Being Distracted 

Definition of Attention Management 

Office workers get distracted every three minutes (

5 Steps to Banishing Distraction and Procrastination (



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