I love being busy and having places to go. If my calendar was empty day-after-day then I’d probably be pretty depressed. I like staying busy. It makes me feel productive. But staying busy all the time has it’s drawbacks. Like… being too busy to remember to get gas in my car until I can only go 5 miles and the gas station is 7 from my house or being too busy to remember to fold the clothes in the dryer and my work shirts are wrinkled or being too busy to stop and smell the roses. Usually the only times I get sick is when my calendar is jammed packed.
I have a system that I’ve been working on for a few years now and I finally have it down to a science. I use Google calendar to manage my life outside of the office (or when a meeting takes me outside the office) and I use Google calendar to manage my family. I use Outlook to manage my daily tasks at work so I know what all I need to get done that day and if I can’t get to something it’s easy to just drag it over to another day. I use a paper journal for list making, idea keeping, and money tracking.
My journal goes everywhere with me. I explained how I like to use it to keep track of our extra income we get each month. But there are so many countless ways I use my journal. It’s my brain dump, catch all, no stopping information gathering place. I make lists then when I get to work or in front of my laptop I pull out my journal and figure out when and where I can get my lists done.
Journals are the best way to get things out of your head, down on paper and off your mind. Write it down. Know where you write things down (hence the love of journals) so you can find them later. I’ve always said if you write it down then it will get done. It’s just a matter of time, but writing it down allows your mind to focus on the task at hand instead of trying to remember a bunch of ideas, things to do and getting the work done.
The key with using a journal to stay on top of it all is actually looking at it. You have to look at it, mark things off and schedule time to actually do your tasks.
I go through a lot of journals every year. So I never buy the fancy ones that look super nice. I go with the ones on clearance. I’m pretty sure I’ve never paid more than $5 for a journal. That’s crazy pants to me. Who cares what the outside cover looks like? I don’t!
How do you keep track of your to-do lists?