One tip to make productivity and consistency easier: Finish one thing a day. It’s the best productivity tip I have found. This one thing has had the biggest impact for me. So, read on to understand what this “Deliverable a Day” is all about.

Listen to other episodes of Productivish: Musings of a Distracted Entrepreneur.

Transcription of Finish One Thing a Day

In the last year or two, I have made a great deal of progress in my search for consistency and productivity.

Lots of little things have helped along the way.

And a handful of larger things.

One of the habits that’s had the biggest impact is my commitment to produce a finished something every day.

That seems like a ridiculous statement. Of course you are going to finish something every day if you work full time or more. Right?

If you had asked me before I gave this a lot of thought, I would have absolutely said that I finish things every single day, or at least most days.

But when I really thought about it, I realized

  • I started lots of things most days.
  • I worked on lots of different things each day.
  • I made progress on things each day.
  • I got things to the 80% or 90% done mark most days.
  • I plan to get things finished most days.
  • There were even days but I ticked off most things on my to do list.

Does this mean that I actually finished things most days?


I didn’t.

When I examined how I work, I got lots of bits done on lots of different things but things weren’t getting finished.

Part of that was perfectionism. You know, all those things that were 80% or 90% done, but still needed tweaking. But somehow I never got back to tweaking them.

Part of that was distraction and part of it was a lack of a clear and imminent deadline.

Yes, I knew I had to get that task done by next week or whenever, but that was not right now. Next week is still a very long time away. And by next week I will have forgotten about the task even if I meant to get back to it several times.

But if I have to complete a task today. That is altogether a different thing. If I need to finish it today, I am way more likely to do so because it‘s imminent.

So, like I have been my entire life, I was busy all the time, working on things all the time, doing things all the time, but not finishing things every day.

I was working, working, working, but rarely had anything to show for it.

When I decided to make it a habit to finish at least one thing every single day, it forced me to let go of some of that perfectionism, and actually finish stuff.

It also gave me a sense of accomplishment and confidence that I could do this again, and again and again.

There are still days when I miss finishing that one thing. But, I generally get back on the horse quickly, because I see the huge impact that this one habit has.

I’m actually doing less work, and getting more done! How cool is that!

When you are able to finish, to “produce”, you will be more “productive.”

And when you are producing at least one finished “thing” a day, the things with which you are trying to be consistent will get done and you will be, by definition, more consistent.

In the next episode of Productiv(ish): Musings of a Distracted Entrepreneur, I am going to dig into what those “finished things” are and how to decide on what “finished” means to you.