This is one of those “secrets” or “life hacks” that I can’t believe more people don’t know about. I’ve used it religiously over the years and its helped me become extremely productive at work, develop skills faster and accelerated my career tremendously. I didn’t come up with it (think Warren Buffett did?) but have put my own little spin and tweaks on it. The 5 Tasks At the end of every work day, before you leave, sit down and make a list of the top 5 things you want to accomplish the next work day. I have a dedicated notebook for this and always carry it. #1 is your “Anchor” task. No matter what, you will complete this tomorrow. #2 to #5 should be other tasks or things on your radar. Prioritised by what needs to be done. Make sure each task can be achieved in a couple of hours max. Got a big project? Break it down into smaller, achievable tasks with clear deliverables (read up on SMART goals). More than 5 tasks? Keep a note of them all and consider adding what didn’t make today's cut to the next list. In reality, you will not complete all 5 tasks every single day. No worries, you’re only human! Just move anything you didn’t complete today to tomorrow’s list and carry on. If a task turns out to be more complex than you initially thought, break it into two or three sub tasks. Some times, a random event or task will come your way that you need to do there and then. If so, add it to your list and simply add whatever it replaced to tomorrow's set of tasks. If a random idea pops into your head, write it down and decide if you want to add it to your next list at the end of the day. This will both further vet the idea (might not turn out to be any good) and won’t distract you from the task at hand. Complete all five with time to spare? Either get a head start on tomorrow or invest time into developing a skill. Working like this, will ensure several advantages: You’ll be setting and achieving something every day, which will build momentum. You’ll never forget important tasks, as they’ll be somewhere on your list and you’ll naturally prioritise them closer to their due date. Doing it daily will help you respond and adapt to changes that occur. It’s a simple but powerful system that requires little effort. Try it for a week and see how you do!