Better Than Getting Things Done (GTD).

What’s better than getting things done? Getting 1 BIG thing done.

Going deep on a big task & wrapping it up in a few hours is an enormous victory for the soul. You’ll feel it from head to toe!

Your To-Do List is Garbage

Or you could just get that to-do list done. You know – that list that is littered with other people’s pet projects. The work they shirked to you. The work that wasn’t even important enough for them to do, so they gave it to you. You know…garbage.

I like to start my day with a single question: What is the 1 big thing I’ll get done today? The thing that when my wife asks me how my day was, I’ll reply, “I did X.”

Without a big thing done, I never know how to answer people who ask how my day was. “I don’t know,” I often reply.

How to Find a BIG Thing to Work On Today

Big things move the needle and create more space. When you complete a big thing, people applaud you, a warm feeling enters your bones, and you have no problem taking the night off to celebrate your victory.

Completing lots of little things actually creates more problems, encroaches on your free time more, and causes more anxiety all around. (because that big thing is still out there lurking and everyone knows it!)

BIG things:

  • Solve long-term infrastructure & communication problems.
  • Take me 3 hours uninterrupted & intensely-focused to complete.
  • Build calm.
  • Are passionately-defendable. Everyone will know why you did it, and you can defend your actions against nay-sayers.

Even Better Than Getting 1 BIG Thing Done

The only thing better than getting 1 big thing done is to take the day off, unplugged from technology, to invest with family, exercise, go for a long walk, call your sister in California, anything but workplace productivity. And don’t feel bad about it. In fact, if you are getting BIG things done at work, you won’t feel bad about taking time away – Embrace the space!


Toby Cryns

Toby Cryns is a freelance CTO and WordPress Guru. He also writes for