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How I Plan My Day | Time Leadership Series

After last week’s video, we are ready to conquer the week. You get up in the morning, pull up Todoist, and then what?

The core output of that process is a daily list of to-do items. It is time to start your day, what do you first? That is the key question when you start your day.

Before I show you what I do, let me explain two key distinctions that shape my system. They each come from two books, and really mostly from the title of the books. Those books are The One Thing by Gary Keller, and Own The Day by Aubrey Marcus.

These books have a bunch of stuff in them, but the things I took away from them are what I use daily. I look at my list and ask, “What One Thing if I got it done, would mean I’d own the day?”

When I review my daily to-do list, I pick one item that answers that question. That is my one thing for the day and I give it a special tag.

OK, let’s be real. I often have more than one One Thing. It kind of depends on the size of the one thing.

For instance, on Saturday’s I have a task to upload this week’s video. That is tagged One Thing. But it only takes a few minutes because all the parts – the video, the thumbnail, and the description – are already created. I just have to upload them.

So I often have another One Thing for Saturday.

While I’m doing this review of my list, I take time to set some priorities for each item. This allows me to sort them by importance. Well, mostly, I’ll take about a quirk of Todoist in a minute.

Here’s my general principles when assigning priorities:

Part 1 – Needs to happen today

Part 2 – Want it to happen today

Part 3 – If I’ve got free time, do this

Part 4 or none – Why is this here again?

That last one generally makes me either get rid of the item or assign it a priority. If an item is in there with no priority it is probably because it just got added.

Also, you can assign priorities anytime, including when you enter them, and when you are doing weekly planning.

Now you can sort your ‘Today’ view in Todoist by priority and start working down from the top.

Let’s talk about Todoist’s sorting quirk. No matter how you choose to sort your ‘Today’ view, items that have a time assigned to them, are going to sort at the top. This means if you have priority 2, 3, or even none items in your list that have time, they are going to be listed above your priority ones.

This can be a significant problem if you have a lot in you calendar for the day. Which brings us to…

It is easy to get distracted by smaller, easier, but not as important tasks if they are there to see. This is why I created a Todoist filter called “One Thing” that I set as my Start Page. It basically shows my One Thing tasks at the top and all the P1s at the bottom. This removes the distractions of all the other items.

If you have decided you are going to actually schedule every task, or blocks of time in your calendar this is when you’d add things to your calendar.

Once this is done, you can get to work. It shouldn’t take very long each morning, maybe 5 minutes.

Question of the Day: What is your One Thing today?

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