When I launched the Depth Not Width blog, it came from a place of me feeling stretched thin. I was at a point where I was trying to do too many things with too little time and resources, and I was struggling to juggle it all. I pulled it off for awhile, but my results were suffering.
I want to share something with you today that has helped me immensely – a complete gamechanger. As a believer in the power of habit, what I’m about to share with you is a tool that I use every morning to help myself stay productive and efficient with my time. My Daily Depth Guide is a framework that’s helped me stay focused on the most important things – the ones that are creating the most depth in my life personally and professionally. I believe this simple tool can do the same for you.
The Daily Depth Guide is a simple worksheet that I fill out each morning to kickstart my work and set the tone for my day. There are many similar formats to this out there. I simply took the pieces I liked best from each one to create something that would work for me. I’d suggest that you do the same… Download this easy-to-use worksheet and then adapt it to your own work and lifestyle. However you adapt it to your unique needs, the concept behind this is simple: Start each morning by creating a roadmap for yourself – something you can follow to help ensure you reach your chosen destination at the end of the day.
Here’s How It Works
The steps that I go through each morning are easy to follow and repeatable. There’s no rocket-science or magic behind this, and that’s the whole point. It’s easy. I start each day from the same place, using the same tool, removing any question about how I should start or where to begin. I’ve created a habit using this worksheet, and it’s been powerful. Let me walk you through my process…
- First, jot down today’s date. This is a simple first step, but important as it allows you to go back and easily reference past projects and progress.
- Next, write down three things you are grateful for today. Don’t skip this step! Starting with your day with gratitude is one of the keys to creating a positive space for great accomplishments to happen.
- In the Projects section, I keep an ongoing list of my current projects, the things I’m working on and their current status. If you like, you can type in the name of each project, and then every day simply jot your progress notes behind each name. This worksheet was built to be flexible and reformatted however works best for you.
- In the “Today’s Big 3” section, write down the top three tasks that must complete today, no questions asked. You will hold yourself accountable to completing these three things no matter what. You can pull these from your Projects list, your “In the Business” list, Personal Projects, or anywhere else on this worksheet. What’s important to you today? This is your place to record it and make sure it gets done!
- Next, jot down any meetings or calls you have on your calendar for the day so you can be thinking about those as the day begins. You want to show up prepared. This also allows you to plan your time and how you’ll most effectively use the hours you have to work with.
- If there are people you need to follow up with, or emails you know you need to respond to, make a note in the “Today’s Followups/Email Replies” section so you don’t get busy and forget.
- In the “After…” section, jot down some of the additional things from your project list that you would like to get to today, as long as time allows and the Big 3 are completed.
- Are there things you can delegate? Being intentional to delegate some of your tasks is important to increasing your productivity and efficiency. Jot those items here.
- Outside of your daily work and projects, what things should you be doing “in the business” to further your own goals? These are not projects for customers or clients – they’re things like updating your website, preparing your email marketing, or spending time working on making your processes better. Too many times we get caught up in putting out fires and focusing on the urgent, not the important. This is here to help you stay focused on those higher-level projects that get sidetracked unless we’re intentional about them. Jot those here.
- Finally, are there any personal projects you need to have on your radar today? Getting tabs for the car, a doctor’s appointment, scheduling a plumber for your house, getting the dog groomed… write those here.
Like I said, I use this worksheet every morning, and it has transformed how I work and live my life. I spend about 10-15 minutes on it, (not too much time) and am careful not to overthink. Sometimes I’ll go back and review the last 3-4 day’s worksheets to make sure I’m not forgetting anything. This process doesn’t create perfection, but it does help me stay on task and focused on the right things, which has been key to accomplishing what I’ve said is most important.
I hope this tool is valuable to each of you. Refine it however you like, distill it down to the things that matter to you, and reformat it to create a tool that fits your professional and personal needs. The purpose of this is super simple… It’s a way for each of us to make sure we’re not wasting precious time and getting the most out of our days. I hope it something you can use to create some extra depth in your own life!