Ultimate Productivity Series: The MIT

About These Series

Last weekend, I sat down for a few hours to assess my current situation, figure out  where my heart wants to go next and what I should do in order to succeed.  Some of the main tasks that came up:

• I'm growing this blog into my main business.  But I'll continue to give my content away for free without any pop-ups (AKA, not joining the dark side).  I'll definitely need to invest some time into figuring out how to actually run a blog, as I've been doing this for almost a year but still have no clue at all 😉

• This will also require me to double down on my marketing & writing skills. I want to begin using these skills to help grow organisations whose cause or vision I believe in as well.

• Because I am very deliberate about the people I surround myself with and live a somewhat uncommon lifestyle, I'm actually oblivious to a lot of the problems and challenges the majority of people experience.  Since the main goal of this blog is to help people, that means I'll need to spend a lot more time around... ehm.. everyone, instead of living in my own little bubble of good vibes.  The more I understand the universal problems, questions and doubts everyone experiences, the more I'll know what I can help people with, or should still find a solution for.  To do this, I'll also need to become a better listener. And take a step back to observe more often than jumping in and trying to fix a situation. (Side note:  Feel free to tell me about what's keeping you up at night by using the contact form or by adding me on Facebook.)

• I still need to finish the final chapters of my book.  This is not unimportant as right now I don't have anything up for sale here besides the donation system.  So any reader who actually wanted to be a paying customer wouldn't even know how to do it 😉

• The band's doing a one time Green Day tribute gig in 2 weeks, so I'll have to make sure I'll know all the songs by heart and get them tight with the rest of the band.  After that we have a couple of "normal gigs" again so we'll need to start practicing for those.  Would also be nice if I could invest more time in our marketing and songwriting.

• It's come to my awareness lately that I missed the self-responsibility train in a lot of areas while growing up.  Because of my life choices (which I still stand by), there's a lot of basic experiences most people my age have under their belt that I have yet to go through (managing a home, etc.).  Now that I am aware of this, I feel like it's a missing part of my manhood I need to get in order ASAP.  So I want to invest a lot of time daily in "adulting" as well.

• I've joined Fiverr to do some freelance writing / music / dating advice work.  So whenever such an order arrives that kinda disrupts my schedule.

• I'm spending a lot of time looking for a temporary part-time job working for an ethical company to bridge the cap while building my blog and then crossfade these 2 over time.  As scientific studies have repeatedly proven that people who don't have food or water tend to die over time.  (Then again, people who live in general, tend to die.  So maybe I shouldn't jump to conclusions too quickly there.)

• I want to do volunteer work on the side.

• I still want to have enough time left for the basics:  Eating, playing, moving, sleeping, cuddling and investing time in the people I love for example.

The main challenge is that I'm a very flowy, creative type of person.  I love taking every day as it comes and only acting when I'm inspired.  The downside of this is that I'm aways inspired by something.  And most of the time, that something is the kind of something that takes a lot of work to actually execute and finish.  Or is just very cute and loveable.  For that reason, I am most productive when I have certain systems in place that help me follow through on that initial spark of excitement and inspiration.  Otherwise, I'd keep coming up with new things without executing them.  Like that one stoner you used to know that always came up with genius business ideas but never executed any (come to think of it, that was probably me).

When I look back at the things I have accomplished in my life thus far, they were born in a creative, playful, seize the moment kind of way.  But all of them were raised by self-discipline and an efficient framework to judge different projects and habits like a well-oiled circus act.

So if I want to get all of these things done without running around like a beheaded chicken, chipping away at lots of different tasks but never completing anything, I'll need to create such a system for myself again.  Parts of it will be based on methods I've succesfully used over the years, but I'll try new things as well, just to see what works best.

Since I get questions about productivity almost every single week, I'll share anything that works for me in these series.  From the quick tips to the motherload.  Today I'll kick the series of with the one thing that's worked best for me these past few days.  Ready to get your hands dirty?



The "MIT" (Most Important Task) is one of those concepts that seem almost too simple, but it makes all the difference when you actually do it:

When you wake up write down the 3 most important and urgent tasks on a piece of paper.  That's it.  Your to-do list for today can include no more than 3 items.  So you need to pick the 3 most important ones.  After that, you can always make a second list.

From those three, pick the one task that would yield the most important positive effect on your life and goals in the long-term.  The one thing you'd still want to have done by the end of the day if you received the death sentence for doing more than 1 thing in the same day.

Now turn off your phone and internet (unless required for the task) and before you do anything else, even before checking your emails, having breakfast or performing any other routine tasks, you finish that task.  You can't do anything else first, or you'll get dragged into the flow of the day and start putting your MIT off until later. Put the remaining 2 tasks in your pocket and don't look at them until the first one is done. It doesn't matter if it takes you 9 hours or 9 seconds. Just get it over with.  If it's something that can't be finished in a day (like writing a book), dedicate at least 2-3 solid hours of uninterrupted work to it before you do anything else.

(Quick side note here:  You can't use your job as an excuse not to do your MIT.  It's important that you are firm with yourself if you really want to get these things done.  If you have a job, just do it as the very first thing after you come home.  Otherwise you'll be tired, and transform into a potato.  One thing I used to do when I had a job was to do my MIT's on the train to and from work.  So this can be a helpful tip for commuters as well.)

When you finished with your MIT, go do something fun to celebrate the achievement and start the rest of your day like you normally would.  After all, the most important part is already over and you haven't even started yet 😉


Receive Pepijn's new articles by email.

While there's enough articles here to fill a couple of books and sell them, keeping them on this site where you can read them all for free would be much more awesome!   And it's amazing people like you who make that possible.  If you feel like these posts have helped improve your life, please consider making a donation.