Full disclosure before we start: I shamelessly stole this trick from Dan Meredith and John Lamerton, who are far smarten than I am. I want to share this trick because, it has had a massive impact on my working life as part of the 90-Day Massive Goals Challenge.
At the very top, there´s a bright green box which says “THIS WEEK’S ONE BIG THING” in massive capital letters. In this bright green box, I write my most important task for that week. That single most important task has to be something that´s actually going to move my life and my career forward, take me towards my 90-day Goals and push me out of my comfort zone.
I make bloody sure that I always do one most important task to the detriment of everything else that week. It doesn´t matter if I don´t answer emails for a day, if the result is that I do something amazing that´s going to propel me forward with my big goals. It´s much easier to waste time making coffee, or sorting paperwork or answering non-urgent emails, but when I have little time to spare, I have to make those few hours count. Having your inbox at “0 Unread Messages” is not important, maintaining progress towards your goals IS. If I only do my “one big thing” and nothing else, I´ve already succeeded for the week.
MY DAILY “ONE BIG THING”
As well as the “weekly one big thing”, I have a “daily one big thing”. I always write my “daily one big thing” on my planner at the top of that day and then draw a big fat line underneath. Then, I write a list of the “small things” I want to do that day. That line is like a barrier in my mind, telling me “you cannot move onto any of the small things until you’ve done your daily one big thing”.
Once I’ve finished my “daily one big thing”, I’ve succeeded that day, and I can move onto all the other stuff. Even if I don´t feel very energetic one day and I use the rest of the day to answer emails and do small tasks I’ve still succeeded for that 24 hour period, I’ve still progressed towards my objectives, I’ve still got the one important thing done.
HOW CAN YOU MOVE FASTER TOWARDS YOUR GOALS? BE MORE LIKE MIKE
Take for example Michael, a professional swimmer who ate 12,000 calories a day. During intense training phases, Michael swam a minimum of 80,000 meters a week, which is nearly 50 miles. Michael is now retired, but as a professional swimmer, he lived his life by one rule and one rule only. “Will it make me swim faster?” “I fancy a pizza and an evening on the sofa so should I skip training?” “Will doing that make me swim faster?. “No.” “Will training make me swim faster?”- “YES, I´m going out to train”.
Michael Phelps was the most successful and most decorated Olympian of all time, with a total of 28 medals. Phelps also holds the all-time records for Olympic gold medals and Olympic gold medals in individual events among many other honours. He is a beast of success because he loved swimming and practiced it religiously to the detriment of all the other small stuff. He always put his “one big thing” first. We should all be more like Michael.
No more excuses, you must make doing the “one thing” a habit every day, and over the long-term, you will find that in 6 months you can achieve things that you thought were impossible.