One Simple Question to Anchor Your Day
Even on the busiest mornings, this prompt has brought me amazing clarity
Editor’s note: Last month, we asked for your Daily Tips—the strategies, life hacks, and bits of wisdom that have made your life better. We love reading your responses and will be featuring some of our favorites here on Forge. To share your own Daily Tip, simply publish a post on Medium with the tag MyDailyTip.
I always felt bad after reading articles about the power of the the Morning Routine. Not because I didn’t believe that having one would benefit me, but because I could never make it work.
My mornings are full on. Time is scarce. I often work late as well, so getting up any earlier isn’t sustainable.
Then I heard a podcast by Greg McKeown, the best-selling author of Essentialism. He had a tip for anyone under time pressure but looking to improve their day. He recommends asking yourself a simple question every morning, and see where it brings you.
That question is, “What’s the most important thing I have to do today?”
It’s been unbelievably effective for me. When I started asking myself the question, my answers were basic and almost 100% task-related. For example, “I have to sign off on monthly sales data,” or “I have to complete reports for the board.” But as I persisted, the magic happened. Over time, my answers became much more personal and reflective. I prioritized my mental health through exercise and self-care. Then I went even deeper. I uncovered the things that actually mattered to me, layer by layer.
I’d encourage anyone to try it for at least three months. The entire process helped me to clarify my real priorities and purpose. One year in, I still ask myself the same question every morning. And I’m loving the journey the answers are bringing me on.