“If it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And If it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.” — Mark Twain
We all want something out of life. We have goals. We have dreams. We have desires. Often, however, we find ourselves moving further away from those goals with each passing day rather than closer to them.
The problem? We don’t spend enough of our time defining the most important tasks (also known as MITs) that we need to do each day to get us closer to our goals.
When we fail to identify the MITs, we end up living in defensive mode rather than offensive mode. We spend more time just reacting to the day rather than tackling it with gusto. We get overwhelmed, upset, and by the evening, we’re too drained to do anything else.
To avoid that from happening, not only do we have to define our MITs, but we also have to tackle them first thing in the morning.
Why the morning?
In the morning we’re fresh. We’re well-reseted. We’re energetic. We’re enthusiastic about the day. Most of the region is quiet (especially if you wake up early enough) and you can focus all of your thoughts and your efforts.
Defining your MITs
To define your MITs, first you need some long-term goals. I’m going to assume that you have those in place, and that you’ve actually written them out somewhere and created a plan towards their achievement. If you haven’t done that, then rewind and do that first.
Goals that aren’t written out are just hopes. They can’t be actualized because we haven’t taken the time to make them real and concrete.
Goals that lack a plan are just wishes. You can’t actually achieve a goal without a plan. You’re just wishing for something when that’s the case.
So, considering you have clearly defined goals with plans, it’s time to define your MITs. How does this work exactly?
First, it’s important to note that you need three MITs per day. The MITs have nothing to do with your “regular job.” Rather, your MITs have to do with your long-term goals.
Ask yourself the following question: “What are the three most important things that I could do today that will help move me closer to my goals?”
Let’s say for a moment that you have the goal of starting your own business. You set a 12-month timeline to launch your company with the plan to quit your current full-time job then. You’ve considered that you need at least 6 months of savings as a buffer just in case things go south.
Now, all you need to do in order to define your MITs is to ask yourself what the three most important tasks that you could do to move you closer to your goal. If you have three goals, do one task per goal. If you have just one goal, then do three tasks towards it.
What if you can’t find three MITs each day? Then you’re not thinking hard enough.
Every single day, there are dozens of things that can be done to move us closer to our goals. The person that wants to launch his or her own company in 12 months needs to do thousands of things to make that goal a reality. Their job is to just pick three of the most important ones every single day.
For example, to start your own company in 12 months, you would need to save enough money or make extra income. To save money, you might consider cutting expenses and getting out of debt, but also engaging in part time work, possibly in the gig economy.
Just those objectives will be littered with hundreds of MITs. Every day, there are numerous ways to cut expenses, save money, and do part-time work in the gig economy.
But launching a business is much more than that. You need a business plan, a website, a corporate structure, a bank account, licenses, social media accounts, an SEO strategy, and so on. The list is endless.
Regardless of your goals, there are always at least three MITs you should define and tackle every single day. No matter what it is, it’s your job to locate the MITs and get them done. These will move you closest to your goals in the shortest amount of time.
Steps for Finding MITs
Okay, okay, if you’re still having trouble, I’ve come up with a nifty little list that will help you find and define your MITs.
- Take your goals and give them an exhaustive overview. Read and re-read them. Do this the night before for the morning after. Hopefully, you only have 2 or 3 major goals, which is the case for most people. What are they? When was the last time you read them? Did you set S.M.A.R.T.E.R. goals? Do they have strong enough meanings for their achievement?
- Review your long-term plans for the achievement of your goals. If you don’t have a long-term plan, then create one. Remember, a goal without a plan is just a wish. The plan should be detailed enough to give you a sense of how you’ll achieve the goal. You don’t need to write out every single step; just your general approach and how you plan to get from Point A to B.
- Create monthly milestones towards the achievement of your goals. Any goal can be broken apart into milestones. It’s your job to take a step back and find out what your milestones will be. One way to do this is to split any measurable goal into 12 distinct parts. Hopefully, you have a measurable goal with a metric you can track.
- Develop a weekly plan of attack. Identify what needs to be done this week towards the attainment of your monthly milestone. What objectives need to be fulfilled? What actions do you have to perform to inch you closer to achieving that milestone? List out all of the things that you can possibly think of no matter how long the list might be.
- Finally, select your MITs from your weekly plan. Look at your objectives for the week and determine how you can best achieve those objectives. What are the most important tasks that will help you get there? Select one MIT per day for each goal with a maximum of three MITs. If you have just one goal, then select three MITs for that one particular goal.