I want to come clean and be real honest with you. I struggle with to-do lists, productivity programs, and time management plans. While all these tools are great, at the end of the day, I feel like a failure more often than not. I truly struggle with how to get things done.
It’s not that I don’t try hard, but distractions get in the way.
You see, I have a lot of disruptive habits that rear their ugly heads all throughout the day. If I come near a computer screen, I automatically have to log in and check Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and of course, E-mail. If I hear a beep on my phone, I instinctively must pick it up and see what tweet, post, or e-mail has just come in. If I walk past a candy bowl, I must pick up a few and take them with me.
I know I’m not alone at this. You may find yourself succumbing to the same temptations.
Habits are formed when a cue causes us to CRAVE a reward. The minute we respond to the cue a familiar routine starts until we receive our reward.
Advertisers, marketers, and software companies know this about us, and put Cues in our way all day long.
Walk into your local mall. You’ll see temptations in all of the front windows, but the most insidious thing is the smell of the Cinnabon store at the end of the entrance hall, with the fan blowing the smell of hot and delicious cinnamon rolls to everyone who walks in. If this doesn’t get you, try driving down the street past the lovely green mermaid of Starbucks, or the tempting Golden Arches of McDonalds.
Once you see, hear, or smell the CUE, the craving will start. If you don’t get the intended reward, you’ll get frustrated. Sheer willpower can overcome some of these, but if you aren’t careful, you’ll be sucked in.
These habit loops play in our heads constantly… Cue, Craving, Routine, Reward.
I decided it was time to take action.
Instead of being a victim of these productivity killing bad habits I would create a new habit.
A habit so strong, it will overpower these common ones.
A habit built around a strong craving we all have.
A craving so powerful it will empower us.
Day after day, it will guide us.
Through thick and thin.
Yes ladies and gentlemen, I’ve taken our popular daily planner and done something so simple, yet so remarkable, it will take this lowly piece of paper to new heights.
This change is subtle but powerful.
I’ve taken our top six priority boxes and put a check box in each.
When you have accomplished a task you now have a place TO CHECK IT OFF!
This simple box will empower you through the day. Each time you see a task, the checkbox will instill a craving so strong you must take action. You will not be able to do another thing until you can take a pen and put an X in the box.
You’ll start with the top left box and work your way down. Each task has it’s own checkbox. Task after task will be accomplished. These insidious little boxes will drive you nuts if they aren’t filled in in a timely basis.
Your productivity will soar!
But that isn’t the best thing. I have one more driving force that will power you through the most difficult task. You see, when you get all six checkboxes filled in, you can go to the top of the document, where all the world can see, and click the WIN Checkbox!
You have WON the day!
You can fire up We are the Champions and dance around your desk.
You have done something so remarkable that it is worth celebrating.
You have completed all of your top six tasks for the day!
Finally an answer to the question: How To Get Things Done!
Everyone loves to win!
You can do this!
Download the TOP SIX DAILY PLANNER FOR WINNERS and get started!
Bonus: I’ve also added a daily diet tracker to the bottom. If you are counting calories, carbs, or weight-watcher points, you can track them here and WIN again!
Power Users: To get the most out of this planner be sure to pick up Charles Duhigg’s great new book, The Power of Habit and download our helpful Habit Change Worksheet.
Question: What tasks will this allow you to accomplish?