• David Strittmatter

Harness clarity- achieve your goals & become more productive

A lack of clarity could put the brakes on any journey to success. - Steve Maraboli

Summary:

  • We’re repeatedly procrastinating from doing something often because we don’t have enough clarity about it

  • A lack of clarity implies having no clue about what to do and how much time is needed


Practical advice:

  • How you devise your daily to-do list can have a significant impact on whether you accomplish all your tasks

  • Differentiate between tasks and projects

  • Your daily to-dos are tasks, which you should write down clearly and broken down into small pieces and are derived from your projects


Dear friend,


I’m quite sure that you’ve already experienced the following situation: You constructed a fully loaded to-do list, and you have no idea how you can accomplish this workload. Then unsurprisingly, at the end of the day, more than half of the tasks are still unfinished.


When I started to use a bullet journal to structure my workload and create daily to-do lists, I encountered this situation almost every day. It felt very dissatisfying.


Today, I’m able to create to-do lists that I can fully accomplish and help me to be highly productive.


In today’s blog post, I want to talk about the power of clarity, why we often fail to get started and accomplish our daily task lists, and how you can harness clarity to become more productive and effective in achieving your goals.


Why we fail to get started


Often, when we’re repeatedly procrastinating from doing something, it’s because we don’t have enough clarity about the thing.


What do I mean by that?


I used to write down my to-dos very vaguely: “Study math” or “Research topic xyz”. Using these unclear descriptions, you cannot really grasp the size of your endeavor: You don’t know how much time you’ll need today, how much time the project/task will take in total, and what you actually need to do today to get closer to your goal.


Since we consequently don’t really know what we have to do and how much time is actually left, we procrastinate and are unmotivated until the workload manifests, our stress level surges, and the deadline is imminent. In this case, we still don’t know how much time we’ll need to accomplish the task and what we need to do in order to meet the deadline; however, since it’s already too late, we panic and do as much as we can to deliver an

acceptable result.


Even though we love solving problems, accomplishing tasks, and achieving our goals, a lack of clarity - clarity about what we have to do, how much, and when - keeps us from getting things done.


The power of clarity


Instead of listing vaguely described tasks, we should write down our everyday tasks very clearly and broken down into small pieces.


We might write Anatomy revision or Instagram bio redesign on our to-do list. But when it comes to sitting down to work, we see the list, and our brain says nope!


It’s saying nope because there’s just not enough clarity. What the hell does 'Anatomy revision’ mean? We’re unlikely to revise the entirety of the field in one sitting, but we write it on our to-do lists as if we’re going to.


And when we see things such as 'YouTube Channel Strategy’, our brain conjures up the mountain of work that would involve, and we continue to procrastinate from it.


To overcome this issue, we need more clarity in devising our work plans.


How to harness clarity


Think about things you want to achieve this week/this month. Those are your projects. For instance, prepare for an exam, organize a party, go on diet, etc.


When you contemplate your daily tasks, you should use these monthly and weekly to-dos (your projects) and write down clearly what you need to do today to accomplish them. For example, in order to prepare for an exam, you shouldn't write down revisite anatomy, but rather you should write down read pages xy-zx, summarize chapter 6, write introduction for essay. Don’t write down study xyz but concisely and clearly describe what you want to today to achieve your project.


More examples: Clean household is too vague. Doing the laundry, clean the floor, and take out the garbage are better descriptions. The same goes for produce video, organize party, buy Christmas gifts, prepare presentation, etc.


You should aim to break down your daily task in very small pieces so that you immediately know what you have to do. This will allow your brain to understand that the tasks are easily achievable, and the feeling of checking these to-dos off is a very rewarding experience.

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