Hands down, the #1 productivity habit I’ve developed over the past year is starting my day with only one question in mind:
What is the one thing I am committed to completing today?
How has it impacted my productivity?
- It’s a focus booster: When I ask the question, I immediately have to think what’s important for that particular day. It forces me to “zoom into” my priorities.
- It makes my day less overwhelming: Even though I can have ten different things I want to do, I know that finishing one of them is doable and realistic.
- It helps me keep that one thing top of mind: There’s no way I will forget my top priority if I start my day thinking about it. It’s always there as a reminder.
- It diminishes the distractions: I’ve noticed that I’m less likely to pay attention to things that aren’t related to my number one priority.
- It helps me schedule my day better: I start working on my one thing early, then I work on it again in the afternoon, and keep going until I’m done. Usually, by evening it’s finished and I can relax and do other stuff.
What is my success rate?
- Excellent! Since I’ve incorporated this habit, I’ve been able to finish my hardest (or most cumbersome) tasks, especially if I start working on them early in the morning.
Can this small habit work for you?
- Yes! It’s very small (therefore, it’s a mini habit), it doesn’t take long to practice (just a few minutes), and in a short while you’ll get so used to it that you’ll be asking the question automatically and effortlessly.
- Here’s how you can work this habit into your day:
- First, write it down: take a large sheet of paper and write the question in big bold letters with a thick marker.
- Next, find a place where you’re most likely to look at it: it can be on your bedroom wall (maybe next to your bed or right in front of you when you wake up) or the bathroom wall (next to the mirror).
- Then, as you’re brushing your teeth or getting dressed, look at the question and ask it out loud.
- Take a few moments to consider what’s on your agenda for the day, then pick one thing that has top priority for you and give an answer out loud to yourself.
- Tip: If possible, start working on your one thing early. If that isn’t possible, then prepare ahead of time: think of which steps you’ll need to do when you’re able to begin, how long you expect it to take, and what you will do if you run into a problem. By thinking through the scenario you set your strategy in place, making your task easier to complete once it’s underway.