A few weeks ago, I wrote a post titled “The Question You Should Ask Yourself Every Day.” It is a thought-provoking question designed to push our minds to think about what we want our day to be. It makes you step back and think hard about how you will live your day. The second question you should ask yourself every day is more practical. However, it is a vitally important question.
Do you ever reach your bed at night and think to yourself, “I’m exhausted, but I don’t know what I accomplished?” Or perhaps you struggle to sleep worrying about all the things you needed to do but didn’t. You’re not alone. We’ve all raced through the day putting out one fire after another. We spend tons of time fixing other people’s problems. Our co-workers believe their lack of planning should become our emergency.
Apart from hiding away in a soundproof room with no physical or electronic connection to the outside of the world, we can’t avoid all of those distractions. But if we ask ourselves this one question every day, we will do ourselves a big favor.
The question is this, “What are the three most important things for me to accomplish today?”
These are not necessarily specific tasks. In some instances, they may be tasks, but in most cases, they are activity drivers. Some examples from my day planner include:
- continue migration to Google Workspace
- advance toward the next milestone for designing a customer’s website
- work on the SEO strategy for our business site
- social media management.
Each priority has tasks. But, I know that the priorities are the big things that I need to work on today to move my business forward. I won’t achieve my business goals if I get lost chasing squirrels all day.
Once you’ve identified your priorities for the day, write them down, keep them in front of you, and refer back to them often. When you find yourself in-between tasks, look at them and decide what you can do in that time to make advances on one of them. When you are planning your day, plan with these priorities in mind. Set aside as many tasks as you can when they don’t help you reach your priorities.
Ask yourself this question and let the answer guide your activity throughout the day. You’ll be amazed at how much more progress you’ll make toward achieving your goals!
One other note, don’t be upset if you don’t get to all three every day. Just try to move the needle on at least one priority, and you’ll be ahead of the game.
I must note that I’m indebted to Donald Miller for these ideas, and you can read more about them in his book, “Business Made Simple.”
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