If you want to remember something, be sure to write it down. If you’ve heard that said once, you have heard it a million times. For good reason I might add. It’s solid advice.
When it comes to accomplishing things, in most cases we tend to over complicate the process. Certainly, in some instances there is a basic learning curve that might be required to overcome (notice the emphasis on basic). That said, you will give yourself a better then average chance of accomplishing more, more often if you will develop the habit of writing down what you want to achieve.
Yes, we’re talking about making lists. No, it’s not fancy, but it is effective. Simple and effective. Two words that go together like peanut butter and jelly.
Got it? Good! …
The reason keeping lists work so well is because the chances of you getting sidetracked, as long as you have a visual reminder of what you want to do is greatly reduced. Provided of course you can keep what needs to be done — where you are most likely to see it!
At this point you’ve got the basics down. If you want to get really fancy you can keep your lists in your phone, and assign handy reminders for yourself.
Alternatively, you can keep your lists on a sheet of paper (so long as you’re not prone to lose it prior to completing the tasks on it of course).
Here’s something I like to do with paper based lists…
I keep my daily actions list in a notebook that includes tear out sheets of paper. It’s got a lightweight plastic type front and back so it can withstand a little wear and tear.
Each day (actually the night before) I will draw a line down the piece of paper. On one side I write “Work” and on the other side of the line I write “Personal”.
I then go down each side of the paper writing down my “to do action items” which fit within the two broad categories.
This gives me a handy at a glance view of the things that I’ve identified as being most important to complete for the particular day.
As I accomplish the particular items on my list I like to put the letter v with a little circle around it (as in v for victory) and then I’ll scratch through the item as well (making sure I can still make out what I’ve completed). I find that this allows me to enjoy the little mental boost that goes along with having completed the task, while at the same time letting me look back on what I have completed and review if necessary.
At the end of the day I turn to a new page — repeat the steps mentioned above, and add whatever tasks I didn’t complete the day before. It’s also worth noting that in some cases some of the items that were on the list before may no longer be relevant or as important as I thought they were — so they don’t get moved to my new list.
I should also mention that in some instances I also include tasks in my phone or calendar for additional reminding. It is also worth noting that the items that go on this daily list are just that — daily action items I need to do. I don’t include long term goals or things which need to be recalled longer term. Those things go in my calendar, or phone where I can let the “technology” keep up with reminding me and ensuring I stay on task.
The main thing to keep in mind is that you don’t want to drive yourself nuts trying to adhere to a system that doesn’t feel right to you personally. Feel free to give the ideas above a try, if they resonate with you, wonderful, if not, by all means use bits and pieces of what you learn and mash it all up into a system that works best for you.
Keep in mind that personal development is a hands on project — which is to say that you have to be the biggest part in the equation. Certainly be open to shared ideas, but more then that be open to trying and when necessary adapting what you learn into something that’s workable for you.
It’s your life, LIVE BIG!
-What are some strategies you use to get things done? Use the comments below to share your thoughts.