I have written in the past about how minimizing your goals can make you more productive. It is much easier to achieve a single goal or task when it is the only thing you have to worry about, and having lots of things on your todo list can actually increase the amount you procrastinate on the important stuff.
For instance, my primary goal is to write and publish more books this year. In order to achieve this goal, I have set a small daily goal of writing 1,000 words a day. This single goal has allowed me to publish two books already this year with two more in the editing phase.
In fact, here’s the cover for the next book I plan to release:
Even with having only a single goal to accomplish there have been times when I have found myself racing at the end of the day to do the one major thing I wanted to do. It is just too easy to work on all of the little tasks first and put off the one big thing I REALLY wanted to achieve until the very last minute. This ticked me off so I set out in search of a solution.
Brian Tracy discussed this exact problem in his wonderful book titled Eat That Frog!. In this book he covers why this problem is so common and suggested that we select one major task to accomplish before we allow ourselves to do anything else that day. To borrow his phraseology, we need to eat the biggest, ugliest frog first to get it over with.
This is all fine and dandy, but how do we inspire ourselves to bite into that big, ugly frog?
I found a solution in a simple text file filled with three tiny sentences. Each day you select your biggest, ugliest frog, the one task that you want to accomplish, and you create a text file telling yourself that you are going to do that one thing, and when you do, that you will have had a really good day. You save that file on your desktop to remind yourself of the one thing you want to accomplish.
I take it one step further: I leave the text file open to remind me as I work of what I want to achieve. Here is a screenshot of today’s file.
If you find yourself struggling to meet the one simple goal you have set yourself for the day, try inspiring yourself with a text file, then start on that task before you allow yourself to do anything else. Once you have achieved your goal, take a moment to celebrate, then go back to your day.
If you prefer a more traditional method, a post-it note with your single goal can be placed where you work to remind you of the one thing you want to accomplish that day. This has an added benefit: you can have the pleasure of destroying the note when you achieve your goal.
How do you manage to accomplish your single goal every day? Please share your stories in the comments below.
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