Look at most of our desks and you see To Do lists and clutter. The To Do List is a symptom of old (possibly bad) habits. My habit is to reframe the To Dos as actions or appointments to go into my diary. They then become events with a time beside them and get done at the appropriate time. I use a simple Journal to do this. The alternative is to delegate the action to someone better able to deal with the issue.
The Journal is starting to become incredibly popular. Many of my clients use a Journal to log their plans and their actions and goals and targets. The Journal is used to help set up what needs to be done and how and when. It is also used as an accountability device – a mechanism to help you to self-regulate (not sure if that is really the right word!) but to act as your own accountability buddy.
One of the benefits of using a Journal is that you keep track of your progress towards goals as you can log your daily actions as well as how effective they have been. Like the saying, “How do you eat an elephant? In very small pieces”, so the Journal enables you to see your step-by-step progress towards your bigger goals.
The writing down of ideas, goals and so on is thoroughly therapeutic. While I use various electronic jotters (Evernote is my favourite) I still prefer paper and pen for doodling and playing with ideas. My Journal is stuffed with Post-Its and scraps of paper as I develop various ideas and thoughts. Periodically the Journal is cleansed and tidied. We all work these systems in different ways.
The discipline of checking in on a weekly basis is at the heart of making a Journal work for me. I take 15 minutes every Sunday night or early Monday morning and reflect on the last seven days and the week ahead. It is an opportunity to assess what I have achieved and to assess what my key priorities are for the coming week. Invaluable for keeping me focused and delivering on my plans and goals.
If you don’t currently use such a device then I wonder if a Sunday Night Check-In would also help you to get your ducks in a row. Why would such an activity not improve your chances of success?