A Productive Day Starts the Night Before

How many days do you start off struggling to get going?

I’m not talking about getting out of bed. When you finally sit down at your desk, are you one of the few that can just start cranking out productive work?

Do you immediately tackle your Most Important Tasks?

Do you at least tackle some smaller tasks to help build your momentum for the rest of the day?

Or do you find yourself doing stuff while an hour or two go by and you realize you haven’t done anything of significant importance – something that will help to achieve the goals you set out for yourself?

I swear, this tip feels so stupid to even blog about but it may be the easiest thing you can do to make your days more efficient and productive.

The night before, write down the 3 most important things you need to do the following day.

That’s it.

Don’t be Unproductive Paul

I have to admit that even though this is so simple and I’ve known about it for decades, even I’ve forgotten to do it in the past.

And this is what inevitably happens the next morning.

  1. I sit down at my desk
  2. I check my emails and reply to those that seem important
  3. I look at my calendar
  4. I look at my big task list and figure out what things I need to do that day.

An hour or two can easily go by without me tackling the critical items on my task list.

Don’t be like Unproductive Paul. Or worse, Meathead Rob Lowe.

Get a Jump on Your Productive Day

The night before, whether it be right before you leave your office or maybe after dinner before you begin to relax and wind down, write down the 3 most important things you need to do the following day.

In the morning, you’ll waste no time trying to figure it out. It will be clear and hopefully, with purpose. No futzing around.

You also may find that it helps you sleep better.

The reasoning is because now, there’s no uncertainty about what you have to do in the morning. Clarity.

(Please note that I’m not any kind of doctor so I can’t substantiate this claim.)

If you are a downhill parker, then write 2-3 quick tasks to help you get started along with your 3 most important tasks. Just be honest with yourself and make sure they will take less than 30 mins to complete all of them.

If you use some sort of task management system like Omnifocus or Todoist, do a nightly review and flag the critical tasks or make them the priority 1’s for the day.

Lastly, do this even for the weekends. Sure, maybe you aren’t focusing on work but that doesn’t mean you can’t put some quick planning on the great fun you want to have.


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