Every night, before I go to bed, I write down the top three things I want to accomplish tomorrow. Here’s yesterday’s list:
- Write and schedule two blog posts
- Make a meal plan
- Purchase ingredients
This is my if-nothing-else list, the three things I want to get done no matter what. Even though it’s short, the power is in the fact that it is short. It allows me to identify and focus on what actually matters to me. It’d be great if I wrote down 10 priorities and got them all done, but that’s not the way human works. As soon as I learned and accepted that, I was able to start working more productively.
Without exaggeration, this one habit changed my life. And the thing is, it just takes three minutes. You sit down, you think of the things that matter most to you today, whether that’s long or short term goals, and you write them down.
By forcing myself to narrow down all the things I want to do tomorrow to a list of three, I prioritize what my true needs are. Work, side-hustle, and health, in this case.
The content of the list doesn't matter. Some days, it will be all work-related. Other days, it might just be “order socks.” It’s the intention behind drafting this single to-do list that drives me to accomplishment rather than the contents of the list.
Why does this one, three-minute habit have such life-changing impacts?
1. My goals are achievable.
If I wrote “write content for the next month” onto my to-do list, I wouldn’t get it done. What’s worse is I wouldn’t even get two done. I’d be so overwhelmed by my task that I’d be paralyzed.
The practice here is to be sure the goals are things I realistically can do in a day. That way, there are no excuses for not getting them done.
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