Thursday, August 12, 2010

A simple, old school way to keep track of your life...

One of my biggest personal challenges each day, is to remember stuff.
Remembering stuff is the first step towards getting everything done in your day, be it personal tasks, business tasks or anything else for that matter.

So often I get asked to do something, and while I am going into my Tasks / To-do's on my phone to make a note, the damn thing rings, I take the call and then my train of thought is trashed.

Another source of daily stress is something which is designed to make our lives easier... or is it?
Call waiting, they call it... you know that little tone that beeps incessantly in the background while you are on a call?
Too many times now have I put a call on hold, so as to take the 2nd call, try to attend to it, and then return to the 1st call, try take care of that as well etc. etc. and so the cycle of disorganization spirals out of control.

I have tried using task lists on my phone, linking all my tasks up to my GMail Calendar, tried to use Outlook Notes and Tasks to help me get through all my to-do's, and yet none of these could quite achieve any kind of success.
The problem here is that I have been trying to use technology to make my days less stressful - ironically it is PC's, Smartphones, Push Email, Synced Calendars and the like, that can actually contribute the most stress to our lives.
Then about 2 weeks ago, someone told me to get myself a notebook. Nope - not the 21st Century, Core2Duo kind of notebook...

Remember back in school - those tiny A5 notebooks with the words "Where is it?" embossed into the cover... yup you know which ones I am talking about!
Wonder of wonders - I seriously doubted this at the time, but as I look back and page through my little notebook, each item triumphantly ticked off, I can honestly say that this little hardcover gem has improved my productivity tenfold or more!
What could be simpler than jotting down a quick one-liner in your notebook, as a task comes your way... and then as you get through each one it just gets ticked off on the list.

If you struggle to get to all that you need to, and you find that you often "drop the ball" (to borrow a common corporate phrase), why not head off to Pick 'n Pay and pick up a notebook to help you take control of your time and your days.
Hey - maybe this doesn't work for everybody, but it is certainly a cheap and simple solution if it does work!


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