• Leo Babauta, founder of Zen Habits, seems to be the originator of the MIT concept. Read this post for his excellent explanation. You can check out a collection of his books on Amazon,, or IndieBound.
  • If you’re interested in the other MIT, you can find more information on the school’s website. But learning about MIT probably shouldn’t be today’s MIT.


55 Responses to “Pinkcast 1.2: A simple trick for getting the right stuff done”

  1. Andy says:

    Love this one! And Leo’s work – especially “Zen to Done”!

  2. Jack Quarles says:

    Good thing Pinkcast was my MIT today… now I move on to LIT. Thanks Dan.

  3. Alison Segebarth says:

    Good timing – will put this tip to use right away and see how it changes my day. Thanks Dan!

  4. Bruce Hirshfield says:

    Right on, Dan… Right on!

  5. Nadia Dean says:

    Excellent reminder! There are too many “good” distractions that become the enemy to the best use of time. Thanks Dan!!

  6. rob davies says:

    Nice pinkcast. Pure and simple. Will pay more attention to Zen Habits.

  7. Ed Lawrence says:

    We live in a world of distractions. This will focus on the one and only thing that is critical now to get accomplished. I got a small white board on my desk and before I shut down for the evening, my MIT for the next day goes up1 THANKS for the tip…

  8. Toine says:

    Superduper! This so simpel! Let find out of if iet works for me..

  9. Ksenya Ruban says:

    Nice!!! Love it – I manage sales ops and about a 1000 items hit my day. I write done 3 things for the day I must accomplish! But I like the MIT better!

  10. Walter Akana says:

    Great tip, Dan! Love Leo’s ideas!

  11. Buzz says:

    Proving once again it’s the little things (who are the big things in disguise) that matter most! Always good to get some “Pink” advise, keep’em coming Dan!

  12. Monisha says:

    I live by this concept. In fact, I even baked it into my new task management app called priorigami: the art of productivity ( This new to-do list app is like no other. While you can enter and track all of your tasks it reminds you to set your top three MITs for the day to help you make this a habit. It’s available for FREE in the iTunes App Store:

  13. Doug Wood says:

    Thank you, again! Too often the time suck of email will establish my MIT but I will try to set the email triage aside and give this a try. Even if the email sort is the MIT of the day.

  14. Andrew Roberts says:

    A similar concept is Eat That Frog, though I guess that only works if your MIT is a frog.

    • Absolutely agreed and this was said way back by Brian Tracy. I am surprised Daniel Pink hadn’t heard of this and I believe Brian Tracy deserves the credit for this concept as Eat that frog has all the nuggets needed for productivity. Thanks Pink for the reminder but do read Brian Tracy’s book.

  15. Thanks, Dan. I always list my top three priorities every day, but with the press of distractions even that short list is sometimes unchecked at end of day. I’m going to try JUST ONE THING and see if that improves my track record. Leave it to Zen to remind us that simplicity really is powerful.

  16. Lisa Reinhart says:

    Thank you for another simple – yet effective – tip, Dan. I especially appreciate the reference material; in this case, Leo Baubata’s 2007 post from Zen Habits. Having a valid answer to the “why” question helps nudge the resistant side of me. I’m putting this tip to work right now!

  17. PC says:

    Great take away to use immediately! Simple, easy and most effective! Thank you for raising awareness.

  18. Cheryl Johnson says:

    Great stuff Dan, as always…. In the “always getting better” department, how about a link (or archive) to your past Pinkcast episodes at the bottom of the page? For those finding you for the first time, it would be nice if there was an easy way for them to access past episodes. Keep doing the good stuff! Cheers, Cheryl

  19. Andie Mobley says:

    Love it! I call this eating the frog. I even keep a frog figurine on my desk to remind me each morning. Thanks, Dan!

  20. Love it! Thank you!

  21. Debra Healy says:

    MIT for today: Create PowerPoint for workshop on workplace conflict
    NMIT (Next Most Important Thing) for today: prepare for telephone conference with client
    LMIT (Least Most Important Thing) forever: worry

    Thank you, Dan!!

    P.S. Based on your recent post, I read “Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance” by Angela Duckworth – excellent! It continues to stretch the parameters of how I see the world. Thanks!

  22. Bill Denyer says:

    My MIT is to thank you, mention how important this is to me (as a serial procrastinator), and commit to practicing every day.

  23. Jeff Wright says:

    Love ides to help me prioritize!! Agreed…will help me keep the main thing the main thing!!

  24. Another great Pinkcast.

  25. Great tip, same idea as WIG (wildly important goal) from The 4 Disciplines of Execution. Thank you.

  26. Connie says:

    Love the MIT productivity tip. Another quick tip Pinkcast. BTW, my 13 year old daughter wants to know where you bought your white board. We liked it.

  27. Rob Carty says:

    Great tip. Reminds me a bit of the Franklin-Covey time management method. All tasks get categorized into A, B, and C, then sub-prioritized into 1, 2, and 3…etc. So your MIT would be your A1 task. Don’t move on until you finish A1!

    To paraphrase Peter Sellers’ presidential character in Dr. Strangelove, “Put everything you’ve got into [that] sector and you can’t miss!”

  28. Dr. Bob Bayuk says:

    Eat the frog first!

    Everything else after that is a piece of cake – so to speak. (Tx to M. Twain)

  29. Paul Pemberton says:

    For further reading on what your MIT should be read First Things First by Stephen Covey.

  30. Simon Cutter says:

    Dan another great pinkcast. Thank you, please keep them coming.

  31. Love the Pinkcasts, Dan. MIT is a great tip, although in my experience what gets many people stuck is not the concept of it but the execution: deciding what is the MIT.

    I’ve seen this challenge manifest in 2 ways:
    (1) confusing urgent and important – many people fall victim to the illusion of importance when the task is merely urgent. (I combat this by staying offline until after I’ve worked on at least one important project).
    (2) competing tasks of equal importance – this is what traps me often. Balancing the needs of multiple stakeholders (clients, self, family) often results in tension between multiple tasks that truly are important and not urgent.

    I really love these Pinkcasts. They are short but make me think a lot!

  32. David Smith says:

    Great strategy!

  33. Thom Gibson says:

    Dan, there’s a Google Chrome extension called ‘Momentum’ that basically turns every ‘new tab’ into a page with a beautiful background photo and a spot for you to write your MIT nice and big for the day. There’s also a spot for the rest of your to-do list for the day.

    • Jeff Stutzman says:

      Thom–I love Momentum. I hate lists, but this chrome extension has seriously helped me focus my time and energy on what my key tasks are for the day.

  34. Jen says:

    Great tip! I make a “To Do” list every day but have never thought if doing this, thank you again for taking the time to record this.

  35. Bill says:

    Yep, love this idea. I have 3 MITs per day but same principle. If nothing else gets done but these do… All is good.

  36. LisaRose says:

    Right when I needed it. Thanks, Dan.

  37. Bev says:

    Thank you. So funny, you crack me up! 🙂

  38. Sheryl says:

    LOL, did my MIT before I checked my email and watched the video.

  39. Mark says:

    Awesome! Great explanation – love seeing your example (on paper and the whiteboard).

  40. Simona says:

    Thank you for this wonderful Pincast: short and right to the point… No long introes, no “have you ever wondered or asked yourself why…” no “stay 5 seconds more and I will tell you the secret of…”

    I wouldn’t mind to receive it weekly!

  41. Marian Pontz says:

    Perfect! Thank you.Once again I will show to my students.

  42. Fernando says:

    Great, but this is not boss-proof!

  43. Gina says:

    Love it – very simple and easy. If you like this, you would like Stephen Covey’s Big Rocks concept too! Here is one of the original videos ( about putting first things first – oldie but a goodie. This looks at MIT from a more holistic level but the big rocks concept can also be taken to the more daily/weekly time management level.

  44. Kate says:

    For those that loved this tip (like me) I greatly recommend reading ‘Eat that Frog’ by Brian Tracy. An easy read but contains some fabulously practical time management and productivity tips.

  45. Pat says:

    I was about to click the link to read more, maybe even hop on Amazon and order the book, and then realized–I already know what my MIT is today! So, I guess that can wait ’til I break for lunch. lol. Thanks, Dan!

  46. daisyazer says:

    This one continues to resonate and I hear it in my head frequently! Thank you both (Dan Pink and Leo Babauta)!

  47. Claudia says:

    come on! you are killing all the fun of finding new and creative excuses for procratinating!
    just kidding, simple great advice, it will stick to my mind!

  48. Kathleen says:

    GREAT idea! Thank you!!!

  49. Srikar says:

    Hi Dan,

    Thanks for the simple yet great advice. Thumbs up!

  50. Darin says:

    Makes me think of Peter Drucker and “doing the right thing vs. doing the thing right.” It’s good to check that the Most Important Thing is a right thing to do…and then do it right.

  51. Scott Turner says:

    The real trick is knowing which one of so many competing priorities is the Most Important. Ironically, the task you choose to do first in is actually the second task of your day as determining what it will be is necessarily the first. Efficiently & effectively choosing the MIT while avoiding analysis paralysis is essential and the skill I and perhaps many others need to improve.

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