A young, new recruit in the military was puzzled by the requirement that he make his bed each morning before leaving the barracks. After a particularly rough day, he sat on the edge of his bed, head in his hands, utterly defeated.
The sergeant walked past the room and noticed the young man. He stopped for a moment, paused, and then turned around and walked up to where the young man was sitting.
"Do you know why you are required to make your bed each morning before you leave the barracks?" the sergeant asked.
The young man looked up in surprised. "No sir!" he replied.
"It is because there are going to be days when you feel you failed in every task you set out to achieve. But, when you retire, you return to a bed that is perfectly made. It allows you to have at least one success every day."
As entrepreneurs and business professionals, we, too, will have days where we feel like everything we touch turns to crap. In spite of the best intentions, well-laid plans, and written to-do list, we end our day feeling frustrated, disappointed, and maybe even like we are a failure.
I used to have days like that. But then I discovered a secret... a secret that is similar to making your bed everyday so you have at least once success... It's called "Do The One Thing".
Here's how it works: Every morning when I start my work day, I do at least one thing that propels me further toward my goals. Sometimes it takes 10 minutes, sometimes 30 minutes. After that, even if I lose control of my day, I can go to bed with the satisfaction of knowing that I did one thing worth celebrating.
The key to making this work is to break large, time-consuming tasks into smaller activities that take between 15-30 minutes. This makes it easier to hunker down for that short time. Plus, if other things get in the way, you can do the things that have become more important without guilt.
The photo above is the sign I made that is attached to the magnetic white board in front of my computer. It serves as a reminder that I don't have to accomplish everything today... but I should strive to accomplish at least one thing that matters.
Please try this for a week and share how it impacts your business and your life.