Day-to-Day Motivations Framework in Practice

If you’ve read our Day-to-Day Motivations Framework for tackling the many ideas, tasks, and projects that come up each day (as opposed to the relatively fewer big picture goals we have that come up less often but stay with us for a significant period of time), you may think it sounds good in theory but wonder how it works in practice.

As a reminder, the Day-to-Day Motivations Framework steps are:

  1. Write It Down
  2. Categorize It
  3. Make a Plan
  4. Get It Done

Let’s take a look at a couple of examples:

  1. Olivia came up with some new ideas for a project while out on a run. When she came home, the first thing she did was jot them down as quick bullet points on a notepad, to make sure she wouldn’t forget them later. Once she was back at her desk, she decided how to categorize each one according to level of priority in her To-Do Matrix: the most time-sensitive ones went under “Next Action,” others that she wanted to accomplish later in the day went under “To Do,” and the lower priority ones and random ideas were listed as “Coming Soon” or “Maybe.” She had also had a big picture thought, which she added to her Priorities list as a new goal. She took a few minutes to make a plan: she would tackle her Next Actions and To-Do’s in the first half of the day, and this afternoon, when she had a window to go for a walk, she would use the time to think through the new priority idea and brainstorm some sub-tasks that would help her get started. For now, she focused on doing the items marked highest priority at the top of her matrix.
  2. Rory and Abigail were talking about what to do during their upcoming vacation week. They had already decided to stay local, but wanted to make it feel special. As they talked about ideas, Rory wrote them down in a shared note on his phone so they could both refer back to them later. They ranked the ideas in terms of most enjoyable and least effort, given that they wanted the vacation to be as relaxing as possible. They then made a plan for which day they would do each activity and divided up who would take responsibility for organizing which part. They each then incorporated their respective to-do’s into their individual organization methods and made sure to get them done in time to enjoy during their vacation week.

As you can see from the examples above, this framework can be applied to a wide range of scenarios in both professional and personal contexts, and it can be used with our To-Do Matrix or whatever organizational system you prefer. We’d love to hear how it works for you!

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