Skip to content

Crafting your PACT: focus on impact today, every day (+ free Notion template)

5 minutes read

A powerful practice that will help you identify the key recurring actions that will bring you closer to your vision, and how to perform them consistently.

What is a Pact and why you might want one

A pact is a small list of recurring actions that drive you closer to your vision when performed consistently. Having one gives you a sense of direction, and it’s the first step in Ness Lab’s mindful productivity framework.

A pact helps you break free from the rigid goal-oriented mentality, allowing you to focus on the most impactful actions you can take today, every day.

Defined by Anne-Laure from Ness Labs, your PACT should be:

Purposeful → In alignment with your long-term aspirations.
Actionable → Focused on actions you can take today.
Contextual → Based on your current situation. Your pact and mine are different because our contexts differ.
Trackable → Allows you to answer the question: Did you do the action, or not? Yes or no tracking.

And something I would add, which could fit into the context box: flexible. Fluid enough to change over time when your aspirations pivot, allowing space to grow out of your old vision and into new realms of possibility.

How to craft your pact: finding the right actions

To craft your pact, you have to ask yourself the right questions to find out which recurrent actions will bring in the most transformation into your life.

Here are some that might spark answers:

Once you map out what these actions look like, it’s time to prioritize.

Defining your priorities with the Moscow method

MoSCoW Stands for: Must, Should, Could, and Won’t.

Now that you know which actions will lead you into the right direction, you can fill in the following chart and classify those actions as a Must, Should, Could or Won’t.

Example of my chart

Here's a rough framework to help you categorize, but let this part be more intuitive than logical.

Must → What are the most transformational projects you could work on? These are the most meaningful actions you can take, and probably the ones that require the most effort. That’s why they’re at the top of your pact as your Musts. Adding them into your pact means you will commit to these actions on a daily or weekly basis because you trust that they will drive you towards your vision.

Should → Some projects or skills are not as meaningful or important, but are still a step towards your vision. Maybe these are goals you’d love to dedicate three or four hours a week to, but you only have one hour. Here’s the space for actions that should happen, but the how can be more flexible.

Could → Only if you have extra time and energy you can add here the actions you could complete when you finish all your musts and shoulds. Coulds are very important since they are also an indicator of your time and energy: did you have time/energy to work on some Coulds this week?

Won’t → The activities you won’t engage with in order to avoid distractions, keep the vision clear and follow your path. In the productivity space there's always a conversation around what we should do, but a big step is mapping out what is not working, and what is blocking your way.

Finally, crafting your pact

You’ve found and prioritized the right actions, now it’s time to put your pact together by choosing the three or four most impactful ones and making them happen by committing to a frequency and adding them into your calendar.

Follow the formula to craft your pact:

I type MOSCOW verb spend insert duration every insert frequency on describe task or project here.

I type MOSCOW verb spend insert duration every insert frequency on describe task or project here.

On the Notion board you can find an example of my pact.

Once you have three or four of these sentences, you can write your pact somewhere where you can see it every day: your calendar, your dashboard, on sticky notes, on your screensaver.

If you want to check out my weekly review template that syncs with your pact, you can access it here. It's also free ☺︎
And here's my mindful productivity map from the fourth week of the course! Today we covered PACT, In the following weeks I want to expand on other pillars I learned about.

Final thoughts

This is a framework that is in complete alignment with my mission of making my systems sustainable and flexible, and I’ve learned all of this (and lots more) on Ness Lab’s mindful productivity course. I highly recommend you to check their community, it has given me so much food for thought.

Your pact is allowed to change over time, but try to stick to it for a month to see the results before tweaking it.

As always, take what serves you and leave the rest, mindful productivity is all about building your toolbox with what works for you.

I encourage you to craft your pact and commit to trusting your own word, and you will be surprised by the remarkable changes these actions will make over time. Happy vision seeking!


Aims > goals: How to trust your own word in times of uncertainty.
The greeks believed that everything originated from chaos. If anything, that uncertainty sounds like a creative principle to me. You’re reading Off-grid journal, a series of raw insights about scaling my design studio mindfully and traveling the world in the process. I’m Maia, and this newsletter i…

Here's an article I wrote about how to transform rigid goals into recurrent actions

Everything is Aiming
Kyūdō, the Japanese martial art of archery, offers an alternative philosophy where aims matter more than goals, and where success is the process itself.

A beautiful article by the one and only Anne-Laure from Ness Labs


Your freedom is worth pursuing: Subscribe to a:/b.