A framework inspired by The One Thing to bring more meaning to daily to-do's

Is anyone else feeling busier than ever lately? As we began settling into our new normal here at home, I noticed how quickly the days were flying by and how overloaded they suddenly felt. Somehow there really weren't enough hours in the day even though we’ve been given more of our time back. Can anyone relate? I know you working mommies can, as we’re now wearing ALL of the hats at home! This new normal demanded that I shift one of my typical morning practices and I think it may help you too. You can carry it through this season and into the next.

Chase productivity, not busyness

In Gary Keller’s Book, The One Thing, he talks about our natural tendency to fill our days with endless lists that almost always leave us feeling like failures by bedtime. I know I’m guilty of this. That feeling of inadequacy when I haven’t checked every single box on my to-do list is very familiar…and completely toxic. Most of us have a default state of making lists of unnecessary to-do’s, overscheduling our time with meaningless stuff that seems important and urgent. It’s really no wonder why we fall victim to this bad habit. Checking a box gives us a quick high and affirms that we’re “busy”, which we associate as being productive. Being productive and busy are very different, though. For those of us who chase the high of busyness, this practice can be completely transformative. It was and continues to be for me.

More Meaningful Boxes

After reading The One Thing, I decided to put into practice something Keller suggested as a shift away from meaningless busyness. Instead of compiling a list of to-do’s at the beginning of the day when my will power is highest, I’ve started creating Success Lists instead. My girls have even gotten in on this new routine as we’ve been together more. As we put together our Success lists for the day, we ask ourselves this…What’s the one thing I can do such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary? This question can produce one goal for your day…and that’s completely ok! Less is more. If that one thing will leave you feeling like you had a win for the day, perfect. You can also create categories for this question to build out more variety…

What’s the one thing I can do for my physical health such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary?

What’s the one thing I can do for my job…?

for my spiritual life…?

My girls and I have our own categories for our days, and they fluctuate depending on whether it’s a weekday, weekend, holiday or just a unique day. Here’s an example of how I structure mine with things that are most meaningful to me:

SPIRITUAL: Morning devotional

PHYSICAL: Spin + core

MENTAL: Read + journal

EMOTIONAL: Meditation

CREATIVE: New dinner recipe

PERSONAL: Plan Harlow's 1st birthday

RELATIONSHIPS: Zoom happy hour w/ Jess

GIVE: Online donation to charity

WORK: Nutrition CE webinar

HOUSE: Clean fridge + freezer

I hope this inspires you to create your own success list for the day. Remember, less is more. Simplify down as much as you can and see how it changes your feelings at the end of the day. I promise it will help you to feel more accomplished, less stressed and infuse more meaning into your days. Share yours with me if you do! I would love to see.

Xo, Kristen