As a student athlete, business owner, and employee of another company there is a great deal that needs to get done on a day to day basis. I can tell you with confidence, I would be dropping the ball left and right on my responsibilities if not for my secret weapon: The Powerlist (which was presented to me by Andy Frisella, owner of 1stPhorm and the voice of the MFCEO podcast).
Everyone has heard of a to-do list, and I’m sure many of you reading have a list that runs up to 15 or 20 things you tell yourself you need to get done today or else: DOOM. How often are you finishing every single thing on this list? Not too often? That’s what my gut was telling me.
We have this honorable desire to conquer the world all at once; go from zero to hero in a span of 24 hours, and then when we fall short it leaves a bad taste in our mouths. You begrudgingly write the tasks you missed at the top of the next day’s list and the cycle continues until you are so worn down and beat up that you say “Screw it!” and just take a day (week, month, year) off of keeping a list going, thus decreasing your effectiveness to an even greater degree and bam. Your ass is in a slump.
What if I told you to just focus on 5 CRITICAL tasks each day. Just write down 5 things that will for sure move you forward and make it the day’s mission to check each one off day in and day out. Once a critical task is habit (you complete it with ease each day), replace it with another critical task you need to work on all the while continuing the great habit you developed. Is this list a hard cap on what you can do each day? Hell no! It is just the 5 most important things to get done. Once you finish those and want to move on to something else productive, go for it.
What this shortened list does is simple; it allows you to build momentum. You will string together days upon days of “winning the day” as Andy Frisella puts it and you will begin to build that confidence and momentum and become an unstoppable freight train of productivity. I’ve been doing this for about 4 months now and it has had a great impact in regards to my overall productivity. I begin each day with a very specific direction and crush through my critical tasks by the end of the day. Worst case, I don’t get anything extra done on top of that and that is totally fine! I still moved forward 5 steps from the day before.
Long story short, keeping it simple and narrowing your focus will do a world of good for your own personal productivity and confidence level alike. If you need a better or more in depth explanation, feel free to ask me any questions in the comment section, or learn it from the man himself, Andy Frisella, in episode 107 of the MFCEO project on Itunes podcasts.