You’re much more likely to stay productive and succeed if you make use of a goal and to-do list, but there are some key activities to help build more than just a huge pile of tasks.
Some people write out their task list in the morning, after they hit their desk, or mid-afternoon when they need to re-focus. But the most effective time to write out your game plan is the night before!
When you fall asleep, you won’t spend so much time laying bed worrying about what to do the next day. And when you wake up, you can kick it into high gear without much thought.
However, your daily task lists should never be just the collection of busy work on your plate every day. Tasks should come from goals, the three big things that need to get done this week if you want to make huge progress.
So, sit down on a Sunday night, and set the goals you’re planning to achieve by the following Sunday. In order to make sure these goals actually matter, do this five-minute brainstorming exercise.
THE 5-1-30 EXERCISE
First, how old are you? Double that number (within reason, of course). For 60 year olds, think 90). Where are you going to be when you are 50, 60, and onward? Who will you be with, what will you be working on?
Think about your highest and best answers to these questions, the dream you want to spend your entire life building. Not so easy, is it?
Then, at the same age, think about the exact opposite: who do you never want to become? What personality traits and habits would make your life terrible?
Spend a few more moments feeling your answers to these questions. Feel the pain of ignoring your life’s work and discarding your values. Feel the elation and pride that comes from never giving up and building a legacy for the small area of the world where you can make an impact.
Now, let’s get a little closer. Picture five years from now. What are the huge, key, measurable goals you need to accomplish in order to stay on the path you’ve just created for yourself?
Make these goals SMART: specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely. This means you know if you pass or fail: you have metrics to reach, a time limit to reach it, and the motivation or need to do so.
A bad example: give more to charity. A good example: donate enough meals at *local community center* to feed 1,000 people.
Keeping narrowing the scope. What about in one year? Take those big, audacious five year goals and reduce them into what needs to be done one year later.
You’re not looking for total accuracy here, you’re looking for a road map. Continue breaking down our SMART goals to six months, then three months, and then… What needs to be done in thirty days?
Finally, it’s time to write down your very first item for today or tomorrow. And after all of that work, we now get to the big question to ask yourself that will guide you well:
“What are the small, simple tasks I must complete today in order to reach my five-year goals and onward, building the life and legacy I deserve?”
Now, when you sit down at that blank sheet of paper ready to be filled with hard work, you’re going to have a much better handle on what actually matters vs. what can be thrown away.
FREE 5-1-30 WORKSHEET
It’s our job to make it as easy as possible for you to reach success. That’s why we designed a simple, front-and-back, single-page worksheet for you to print and download as many times as you want. Keep a stack available for every Sunday, or on an emergency evening when you’re feeling unfocused. Download below, and good luck!
USE THE 5-1-30 WEEKLY GOAL AND TASK SHEET TO BUILD YOUR LIFELONG LEGACY
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