Build a powerful daily routine

Pick daily tasks

Pick things that you want to do daily, and write them down as a list. Check them off as you do them. Do the list every day.

The trick is in the list-making. The power of the system comes from the way you pick items.

  • Choose things you may have been procrastinating on, avoiding to some degree.
  • Don’t pick things you already do (just so you can check them off).
  • Keep the items brief, only a word or two as a reminder.
  • Don’t set daily quotas for an item if you don’t have to, like time spent, or number of repetitions.

Extremely important is that what you consider an item is realistic. Each item should be a single-step action.

Example: You’ve always been a runner, for competition, for exercise, for stress relief, whatever. Or, you’ve never been a runner, maybe thought about it, never ran. Imagine “go for run” from each of these two perspectives. It’s realistic for one, for the other, just not. For the non-runner, “step outside in running shoes” a realistic single-step action.

The items on your list will generally be of two kinds, the things you want to do regularly, that you’re not doing now, and the things you do, but procrastinate on. That second category is extremely useful in moving yourself ahead, provided you pick well. In this case, the daily list item is a nudge, a little push of reminder and encouragement, where you can exercise judgement.

Example: You want to remain clean-shaven (man or woman, any part of your body…), but you often fail to keep up. So you put “Shave” on the daily list. You don’t necessarily shave each and every day, but you do check to see whether you need to shave. This is exactly how this daily list method should work. You make a judgment about what acceptably shaven to you is, and then you decide whether to follow through with action. If you fail to act when you should, it’s clear exactly when avoidance happens, and why. It’s practically impossible to “just put it off”, because that’s like giving up on ever doing anything you say you will. It’s way easier to just do it. Try it out!

Be honest with yourself, let common sense take over, and things will generally go more smoothly.

Next is to turn the list into an easily used daily checklist.