What To Do Today

Most of the time, when I lay my head on the pillow at night I am tired. But before I nod off to sleep, I will have this sense of satisfaction or dissatisfaction with what was accomplished throughout the course of the day. I know if I was productive or unproductive – if I did the things that mattered or was simply busy doing insignificant work.

It’s not to say that every day has to be filled with accomplishment and production. It is to say that I want each day to be meaningful and to be a good steward of the time I’ve been given. When you view each day as a gift, you want to treat it with respect, awe, and wonder. You want it to mean something.

So I have a short list of things that I want to try and accomplish each and every day. They are simple and quite generic. They help me to make sure to do the things that I find the most satisfaction in. It’s called my To-Day List.

This is different than a To-Do list. A To-Do list is full of items that you may only have to do once and are tied to projects, assignments, and things that need to get done that day. A To-Day list contains the things I want to do EVERYDAY.

So here’s my list. It only contains five things. But at the end of the day, if I’ve done these five things – I feel great!


  • Write something
  • Read something
  • Thank someone
  • Lift something
  • Clean/organize something

Like I said, it’s quite generic. Let me break the list down a bit…

  • Write something – I want to be a better writer. I like putting my ideas and thoughts into words that others can read. Writing helps me think. It’s a bit therapeutic. Plus, writing is the key to producing and providing tools and resources that others can use. I would include some of my design work in this category.
  • Read something – I want to be a lifelong learner. I read hundreds of blogs. I read at least a book a week. I read ebooks, magazines, and listen to audio books. This may be one of the main reasons I go ahead and buy an iPad (it’s either a good reason or a good rationalization).
  • Thank someone – Gratitude cures many ills. I am less likely to become bitter, proud, selfish, and isolated if I take the time to thank someone every day. Typically I want to accomplish this through a note or letter.
  • Lift something – As I get older, I need to keep moving. I need to exercise. I have to be intentional about it. I even brought a set of dumbbells (40lbs each) into my office to just pick up and lift in case there’s nothing else.
  • Clean/organize something – My life tends to be pretty hectic. In the busyness, things pile up and I find that I can accumulate piles. I am working to try and simplify as much as I can. I don’t need all of the things I own (which may be a reason why I shouldn’t buy an iPad…we’ll see which one wins out). So each day I want to work to remove the clutter. This could be in my physical space or my mental space.

How about you? Do you have a few things that you’d like to accomplish each and every day? Why not take the time to write out your To-Day list and post it somewhere as a reminder. Don’t make it too difficult. I’d say keep it to five items or less.

If you’re brave enough…post your To-Day list in the comments below.

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  1. Pingback: Leadership in 140 Characters « Eric Echols

  2. As an IT Manager, I support a small team of highly skilled people, and I've been attempting to find a good way to get them to work on the important but a bit boring tasks. We excel at ramping up to fight the big fires, and we miss a bit of the day to day house cleaning. In many instances, proper house cleaning could have avoided a fire.

    I'll work with them to come up with a small to-day list.

    Thank you, Greg

    1. Author

      Thank you for the comment Greg. I hope you find the idea of a to-day list helpful. I've discovered that over a period of time (like 30-90 days), a to-day list becomes something much more significant — a habit!

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