What 3 things do you have to do today?

To make sure you’re as productive as possible, plan your day. As I say in today’s Art Marketing Action newsletter, it works best for me to do this the night before. Here’s what I do:

  • Write down three things I MUST accomplish. These are things that absolutely have to be done on that day and I’ll be in trouble if they don’t get done.
  • Go over my task list and see what I might be able to add to my schedule if I get the first three things done.
  • Decide how to best use that time. In other words, I come up with an hour-by-hour schedule.

Coach Philip Humbert, suggests:

  • Use a 3×5 index card.
  • Write the full date on the front at top. This helps you remember that it is a full 24 hours out of your life. Make the most of it.
  • On the back, write your vision or mission and current BHAGs. (You do this every day to remind yourself.)
  • Then, turn it back over to the front and write the three things you must do at the top and your other tasks (if you get to them) at the bottom.

Personally, I have an aversion to the index cards. I think that’s a “guy thing”–something that can be put in a pocket. I don’t usually have shirt pockets for such things, so I prefer my notebook.

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3 comments to What 3 things do you have to do today?

  • Index cards wouldn’t work for me either. I’d just lose them. Over the years, I tried all manner of paper planners – none of them really “worked” and I got tired of lugging them around. Plus I’d do silly things, like enter an appointment on the right day, but the wrong month. What really “clicked” for me was the appointments and task list in Outlook Today. I have it set so it’s the first thing that comes up when I check my email. And I love the “recurrence” feature, the priority setting, the reminders. One of the important things I’ve learned is that you have to include everything you have to do – art, and non-art alike. In my instance I also teach, so the first thing I do each semester is enter my class schedule as appointments, since obviously they’re an obligation I have to work around when planning my art schedule. My one and only computer is a laptop which I use at home and school, so my Outlook schedule is always accessible. It even helps me pay my bills on time now (Is it really time to pay the mortgage again? Yep, it is!) At first I tried entering a task to “Pay Bills”, but it was too vague and made it sound like a “project”. So I finally sat down and entered each bill individually – 5 days before the due date and each one set to recur on a monthly (quarterly, etc.) basis. Works like a charm for me. For some reason, sitting down and writing a couple checks at a time is a lot easier than one long bill paying session. As you said, you have to come up with a system that works for you and seeing what I need to do, right there on the screen (I think that’s a right-brained thing) instead of having to flip through a planner for it, is the best system I’ve found.

  • I am still working on my system. I have a desktop Blotter calender for the whole family. But I also am getting better at daily entering dates into a planner that can be carried in my purse. I think the index cards might work for me as sometimes (my bad) I don’t complete tasks so with the cards I can just move them to the next day with a paper clip. I used to use the computer system exclusively till I got a virus that wiped out all the hard work I did putting the info in! guess I should have scheduled a back up!

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