agenda for one thing a day method

The One Thing a Day Method is my secret to be on top of all my projects and get stuff done, even if I have very limited free time.

Not sure what the One Thing a Day Method is? Don’t worry!

Keep reading to learn more and how to get a freebie to start your One Thing a Day journey right now!

Background

Recently I’ve been feeling overwhelmed by the amount of things I have or want to do, and have been trying to find a better way to be more organized and productive with my time.

I have explored other techniques in the past to organize my day and key areas of my life, but I still felt not in control when it comes to big projects.

Related: Productivity hacks for busy people and How to be organized with Trello

I mean, we all have projects to do that are just too big to be completed in a day, that we don’t want to do for hours and hours non-stop, or that simply are ongoing.

Projects are not only-work related, there are plenty of activities we do in our personal life that we struggle to manage. For example, a deep decluttering of the house, managing a blog like this one, studying for an exam, redecorating a room, or looking for a new job.

Personally, I love using it to work on my side hustle, the Etsy shop where I sell printables and digital planners. Curious to know more about it? Check out this post on how I started my Etsy side hustle!

Anything can be managed with the One Thing a Day Method!

We sometimes spend hours hustling, just to find ourselves at the end of the day feeling we haven’t achieved much or made any progress with what actually matters.

Have you ever felt this way? I have – All. The. Time.

How to be more productive

There are so many techniques out there to be more productive and have been proven to work effectively. It just comes down to personal preference.

Some I have come across are:

To-do lists

This is probably the most common method: you just write down everything that you need to do for a certain project and just work through the actions in the order you prefer, with the time you have.

This surely gives the flexibility to follow your preferences for the day. We all have those days where you just don’t feel like doing something, even if it’s on the to-do list.

However, you may end up spending time on stuff that is not urgent and not prioritise what is really required to keep the project going; or you’ll find you have completed all your small and easy actions, only to be left with big chunky pieces of work that take hours to complete.

Time blocking

With time blocking you assign a task to a block of time in your day, which can be from minutes to hours long. It’s like having back-to-back meetings with yourself and your productivity.

lady working on one thing a day method

A daily agenda is required for this productivity method, and it can be done on paper, or on a calendar like Google Calendar or Outlook.

Your day will look something like this:

  • 9:00-10:00 – answer emails
  • 10:00-10:15 – call John
  • 10:15-10:30 – breakfast
  • 10:30-11:00 – write 500 words of blog post (and so on…)

This is a great method if you need to be more in control of your time and like strictly planning your day.

Pomodoro technique

The Pomodoro technique involves setting up a timer for example 30 minutes and work non-stop during that time. No distractions, no scrolling Instagram, just focus, and productivity. Once the timer buzzes you’re allowed a break.

This method doesn’t require any particular equipment other than the timer on your phone, or even, the kitchen timer!

One Thing a Day

If you want to try this technique, you just have to split the work you have to do in bite-sized chunks that can be done in a day. And commit to doing one thing every day.

This seemed the perfect solution for my needs so I have decided to test it.

Spoiler: I loved it so much I have created a freebie, so you can try this technique right now. Keep reading to find out how to get it!

The One Thing a Day Method

The One Thing a Day method honestly changed how I organize my projects.

That’s because it is so easy to organize what to do, and it doesn’t take long at all. This way, I have more time to actually get stuff done.

By doing one thing a day, I can keep the project moving and achieving my goals without feeling overwhelmed by the amount of stuff I have to do, or disappointed because I am not doing enough.

How to do the One Thing a Day Method

I like to keep things super simple and, as I said, quick. What’s the point of using a productivity method if we then spend too much time planning?

This is the easiest way to use the One Thing a Day method:

List all the things you need to do

Write down all the things required to complete or progress a project in your life.

For example, I have one list for my blogging, one for my side hustle, and one for my gardening.

Now, this seems time consuming, but it is actually not.

That’s because it doesn’t need to be anything fancy. Just a piece of paper or a list in OneNote or Trello. It’s literally dumping everything that’s in your head onto paper.

Depending on how big your project is, you might want to focus only on next month or quarter’s activities.

Try to write them in chronological order, as if you had all the time in the world to get this project done.

And feel free to break down some bigger tasks into more manageable ones if necessary.

Check your free time

To make this work, it’s important to be honest with yourself: how much time can you dedicate to this project every day?

Even if it’s only 15 minutes, that’s ok.

It’s key not to skip this step, because otherwise you might assign tasks to a day, and not be able to complete them. This would lead to disappointment and eventually you might think this method doesn’t work!

Fill in your calendar

Once you figure out how much free time you have, you need to make sure you can break down your to-do list in items actionable in the free time you have in a day.

This will likely mean one chunky action will be completed over the course of a few days, but every day you will have done something towards it.

For example, one action I have to do for this blog, is to publish a blog post. On a good day with plenty of time on my hands, I could get this done in one go.

But, as I reasonably only have 1 hour a day to dedicate to this, I might split it into:

  • Research subject and outline the high-level agenda
  • Draft blog post
  • Review and optimise for SEO
  • Create images and post

Once you have your list ready, all you need to do it add each item to a different day in your calendar, agenda or any easily accessible place.

Review your progress

Review your original list periodically and tick off all completed items. You’ll soon notice how much you have accomplished with the limited time you have in a day.

My experience with the One Thing a Day Method

I’ve been using this method for a while and I love it!

It really adapts to my availability and I can easily scale back if I am busier than normal or up my productivity if I have more free time.

I also really appreciate the effect it has on my mental health: I often felt overwhelmed by how long my to-do list was, but not anymore!

Now, I can see I am actively working on it based on the free time I have; my project is progressing nicely without me feeling stressed about it.

Fancy trying the method yourself?

You can find a free 2020-2021 calendar and to-do list to try the One Thing a Day Method in my freebies library.

Just pop your email address below to access the library and check out this post to find out more about this freebie.

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