Blog post

You Only Have to do One Thing Today

August 20, 2016

You know what sucks? Ending the day and feeling like you’ve accomplished nothing. Especially when you were busy all day (Hi, emails).

You know what’s worse? Ending the week, month, or even the year *gulp* feeling like you’ve accomplished nothing.

I’m all about the to-do list. ALL about it. And I’ll have days when I’m ripping through that list at an admiral speed, but I’m not actually working towards things that really matter to me. The things I’ll look back on in 5 years and go, “2016 was the year I ran a marathon. I’m so glad I did that!”

By babying my to-do list I’m hiding behind a false sense of productivity. I know that because I’ll look back on yesterday, or last week, and struggle to think of what I accomplished. Like what the heck did I actually do on Wednesday?! Have you ever had that? Totally sucks.

It’s a real kick in the confidence to feel like you’re constantly moving, but not moving forward.

So what I’ve started doing (on the advice of some podcast, and surprise, I can’t remember which one) is nominating one thing I want to accomplish each day. One main task. Maybe it’s a step towards a bigger goal, or maybe it’s finally finishing those socks I started knitting months ago… whatever. The rest of my to-do list will have to fit around it.

There’s something about saying to yourself, “This. Today if nothing else I’m going to do this,” that makes you much more likely to do the work. Especially if you’re having a crazy day or feeling down, it gives you direction and a place to focus your energy. And then when you do it, when you get it done, you go to bed with this cool sense of check-me-out-getting-ish-done-all-functional-like.

It gives you permission to feel like you’ve done enough, that you’re enough. It’s trackable proof that you’re working towards the life you want. So the next time you’re feeling low and that voice pops up saying you’re useless and going nowhere you can be like, “UM, NO. Let me direct you to all the things I did last week it was great and I’m great!”

….

But seriously, it’s good stuff people.

Try it.


Photo taken in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia. I like to think of it as a reminder to ship your work. 

(Originally published on katesmalley.com.)

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