Mental Model

Each day there is a chance that our procrastination or randomization from others will rule our day. Without a clear plan that allocates our time to the most important activities, we lose momentum and daily deposits toward our goals. The act of visualizing our ideal day in advance has a way of strengthening our focus and discipline. We can then translate that into specific activities on tomorrow’s calendar to decide on a successful tomorrow today. This ensures we are investing in our plan and not someone else’s.


Controlling how and where you allocate your time is essential to achieving your goals. One technique that I have found valuable is planning my next day the day before. This is even more true on a Sunday to hit the ground running on Monday and create momentum for the week. Failure to envision what you want to accomplish tomorrow will likely result in supporting other people’s priorities.

This is a simple strategy with productive outcomes. Mentally envision the few tasks and outcomes you want to achieve tomorrow. See yourself in action delivering on them. Write down the few accomplishments in a planner or task list for tomorrow. Then think through the activities and time that will be required to achieve each accomplishment. Schedule time on your calendar to allocate focused blocks of time and energy to execute those tasks.

I use this mindset on a Friday to close out the week and plan my achievements for the upcoming week. Deciding this advance will mentally prepare you for the day and week, and give you a sense of control.


1 – Reaffirm your top work and life goals.

Read your top goals to reinforce what is most important to you.

Reflect if there is a goal that has been unconsciously de-prioritized.

2- Determine the top 1-3 achievements for tomorrow.

Identify the micro achievements for the next few days that contribute to your top goals.

Determine the critical few achievements that are essential for tomorrow.

Use the remaining achievements to allocate to future days.

3 – Schedule time in your calendar for tomorrow.

Think through the activities and steps for each achievement.

Allocate block(s) of time on your calendar for tomorrow.

Decline prior commitments if they do not align with your top work and life goals.

Allocate block(s) of time on your calendar for the other achievement beyond tomorrow.

Experiment With This

  • Use a daily “close out” at the end of your day to evaluate what was achieved and schedule time on your calendar for the day/week ahead.
  • Thinking about my top work and life goals, what activities and tasks should I commit to tomorrow to make progress toward these goals?
  • What will I say “no” to tomorrow to make room for my goals?