I know you work hard every day. For some of you, you may be working yourself to the point of exhaustion every day and then getting up the next morning to do it all again.
But let me ask you this: What did you do today that will actually help you achieve your dreams? Yesterday? Last week?
The sad truth is that so many of us get caught up in doing the urgent work of today, we leave no time for the important work that will set us up for tomorrow.
If you were to close your eyes and imagine working the way that you do now for the next 10 years, you might break out in a cold sweat — or real tears!
You’re not alone. Most people can hardly picture how they’re going to survive the next week with the way that they live and work, let alone the next 10 years!
And that’s just wrong. Most of us start our own business because we dream of a better life and making the world a better place
But the reality is that running a business is HARD. And most of us end up overwhelmed, time starved and buried under a mount of endless work.
This is no way to live.
Instead, we need to connect our day-to-day activities to our dreams and our to-do list to our most audacious goals.
I’ve created a very special resource for you to use each day by leveraging my years of experience as an entrepreneur, synthesizing dozens of books on productivity, and reviewing the most popular planners on the market. And I’m offering it to you today for free.
I’m offering it to you for free because I want you to get off the hamster wheel of busy work and start making real progress toward your goals.
Part of what makes this concept and this worksheet so valuable is that it requires three important things from you:
1. Keep the big picture in mind
Your biggest dreams and goals are almost certainly not going to be achieved in a day or a week, and they probably won’t be realized in a month or even a year! Your biggest dreams require serious long-term vision.
But the difficulty is in maintaining that vision amidst the immediate demands of your business — the dinging email, the social media conversations, the copy you have to write, the calls you have to make, and so on and so on.
And it can be extremely hard to stay focused on the big picture when everything on your to do list is just a teeny tiny piece of the puzzle (or maybe from a different puzzle altogether!).
Every day, the Connect to Your Daydreams worksheet will ask you to remember your big goal for the quarter (which, of course, feeds into your big goal for the year, and for your life). It will also ask you, “What will I do today to get closer to achieving my goal in 90 days?”
By that simple reframe, you can prioritize your to do list and start making real progress towards your dreams.
2. Set goals for the day.
There’s a maxim that says, if you don’t set goals for your day, someone else will. In every business, no matter how big or how small, things will come up every day that scream for attention. If you don’t make a plan for how you want to spend your day, you may find that all your time is taken up jumping from one “emergency” to the next — and you never actually get anything accomplished.
That’s why one of my favorite productivity rules is to do my most important creative work first thing in the morning. Don’t check email, don’t go on social media. Block out a few hours to do the thing that will move you toward your goal. Believe it or not, everything else will wait.
The Connect to Your Daydreams worksheet asks you to take a moment every morning to fill it out and reflect on your goals and your priorities for the day — so that you make a conscious plan, instead of getting pulled in a dozen different directions right out of the gate.
I think this may be the part that almost everyone skips: reviewing your day. The Connect to Your Daydreams worksheet has a second page for review and reflection at the end of each day.
It only takes a few moments to fill this out, but the benefits can be huge. Once you start to really reflect and examine your days in this way, you may start to see patterns emerge. Maybe you have a bad day every time you have to deal with accounting tasks (time to hire an accountant!). Or maybe you find your enthusiasm for your goal waning every day. Is it time to reconsider?
By making the time to check in with yourself at the end of every work day, you’re setting yourself up for even more success tomorrow.
But you don’t have to take my word for it!
Click here to download your Connect Your Day to Your Dreams Worksheet and start using it tomorrow (or even at the end of today!).
And I’d love to hear if it makes a difference for you.
This article originally appeared on Melanie Duncan.