“Sallah, I said no camels. That’s five camels. Can’t you count?”
— Indiana Jones, The Last Crusade
What do you need to get done today? Write down up to three things. That’s your limit.
Forcing yourself to limit the list means you have to prioritize. Pick the tasks that will make the day a success. If those tasks are all you accomplish today, you should be happy with the results.
If you’re not sure what should go on the list, answer two questions:
- What tasks are necessary so my life doesn’t get worse?
- What tasks move me significantly closer to my goals?
Be ruthless in your prioritization. It’s amazing how many “necessary” tasks can be delayed indefinitely. If you don’t need to do it today, leave it off. You can always do more once you complete the list. Remember: If everything’s important, nothing’s important.
Once you have your list, start knocking out those tasks. Pick the easiest item if that gives you a psychological edge. Go for the hardest first, if you want to feel the relief of getting it done. It doesn’t matter, because you already limited the list to only the important stuff.
Now for the hard part. Repeat this process tomorrow. And the next day. And the next. At the beginning of each day, prioritize your list and get moving on those tasks. After a week or two, look at your progress. Check in again after a month or so. After a year of hitting your three most important targets each day, that’s over 1,000 items checked off. Enjoy your victories, but keep moving forward. Don’t stop. There’s so much more to achieve.