In contrast to these big things, I noticed that my to-do lists rewarded small tasks. Checking that “done” box feels good, and if you spend your days on bite-size activities you get to check that box a lot. Yet at the same time, the list was never complete. At best, I felt like a super-productive machine back in those days; at worst, I felt like… well, a machine.
For the past few years I've had a daily morning ritual: write down the things I accomplished yesterday, journal-format, and then write down the things I want to accomplish today. Every Monday I write down the things I want to get done that week and each Friday I recap my successes and failures.
The problem is I'm always focused on lots of things and not one important thing at a time; this often means multitasking and the inevitable Friday recap where I see all the different tasks where I fell short.
It feels like a good time to experiment with something new; something with a heavier emphasis on one big thing at a time to make sure I'm having the most impact possible on my work and on my self.
Also, there's an app for that: One Big Thing.