People ask me all the time, “how do you get so much done in your day?” I kind of wonder if it just seems like I get a lot accomplished, simply because I am fulfilled.
I truly believe that there is a huge difference in, “getting stuff done” (a version of busy-ness) and “a feeling of fulfillment. Actually, I know there is a huge difference in the two.
Getting stuff done is an act of checking off tasks on my to-do list, while fulfillment is an act of accomplishing what I intentionally prioritize for the day.
A task list is overwhelming, while an intentionally guided day is fulfilling. Since I made this shift, my days have become easier, my work has become less stressful, and the time I get to spend doing what I truly love to do is maximized and never minimized.
Sure, there are days and times when I have a lot on my plate. My recent program launch was one of those days (actually weeks). I was buried in the work I absolutely had to get done, and almost every task had to be accomplished, or else nothing went as planned. That’s the nature of the business.
But that’s only about 10% of it. Which leaves 90%.
When I realized I had 90% of my time to figure out, to allocate, and to better utilize, I had to figure out a way to do so so that I didn’t become overwhelmed. That was when I was introduced to intentional mapping.
How to use the Daily Intention Map
This simple document, although simple, is very powerful. This single page, if you allow it to, can and will guide you through (1) getting things done, while (2) keeping you focused on what truly matters in your life, career, relationships and beyond.
So here’s how you use the Daily Intention Map:
Step 1: Each Sunday, print 7 Daily Intention Maps to have on hand for the week. Staple them together.
Step 2: Only focus on each day as an individual day. Do not jump ahead, there’s no need to – remember, we are avoiding OVERWHELM! Each night, beginning on Sunday, complete a full brain dump on the back of 1 Daily Intention Map. Write everything you want to get done, that needs to get done, and doesn’t have to get done this week. Write it all out. You can watch a video on Brain Dumping HERE!
Step 3: From this list of tasks, categorize the priority tasks from your brain dump in each category on the Daily Intention Map for the following day.
For career: Select the 3 tasks that are prioritized as “must be accomplished” and write them under the “My Career” section.
For relationships: For this one specific day, how would you like to see your relationships cultivated and nurtured? For example, that could be “call grandma to check on her tonight”, or “play with the kids for at least 30 minutes”. Doing this intentionally and in this way will simplify and incorporate all that matters in your life in one, easy to access, place.
For health: What 3 things can you do today to increase or nurture your health, either physically or mentally? This could look like “10 minutes of meditation or prayer” or “attend a cardio class today”. This could even be a simple intention of “remain aware of how I feel today”.
For self-care: What 3 actions or thoughts can you take today to nurture yourself? Like I said, this could be simply thinking positively, or it could look like taking 15-minute breaks when you start to notice yourself growing tired. How can you care for YOU today?
For adventures: Discover your adventurous side every day. Where can you find adventure? Can you learn something new today? Listen to new music during your work day, or does adventure look like going on a nature walk with the kids? Select 3 adventurous actions for today.
For tomorrow: Any 3 priority tasks that did not make the list today can be included here. Or, leave this space open. If a priority task from today did not get accomplished like you had hoped, add it here so that when you brain dump again, you will remember to include it on tomorrow’s Intention Map.
Always include gratitude: At the top of the page, either begin or end your day with gratitude. Ask yourself “what am I thankful and grateful for in this moment?” Write that here to always come back to throughout the day.
The application is simple. After you have filled out the map, make an intention to check off the items that you intentionally set and do so with a grateful heart.
One way that I work throughout my day is finding the one task that, if accomplished today, I will be 100% fulfilled. Highlight that ONE task on your sheet, whether it is career-related or not, if you complete a single task, make a point to be thankful and to acknowledge your effort at the end of the day.
Don’t forget to download your very own Daily Intentional Map below: