Doing stuff is easy. Doing the right stuff, not so much. Busyness is a form of laziness, as busy does not equal productive – busy just fills in time. Busy leaves you exhausted. Productive is invigorating.
Which is a shame, because I love to procrastinate, which is usually just another way of being busy. It’s amazing how much I can get done (usually nothing on today’s to-do list) if I have one single task that I SHOULD be doing but don’t want to.
These have been fundamental in getting my ass into gear this year, and trying to overcome that (and best of all, they’re FREE!):
Daily Habit Tracking
The best change I’ve made in recent history was implementing Taylor Pearson’s Daily Habit Tracking spreadsheet. My tracked habits can vary slightly from month to month, depending on what I’m prioritising/want to see progress in, but consistently tracking daily metrics has made a huge difference to my forming new (good) habits. This simple Google Sheet is always open in my browser to remind and keep me accountable. I have changed the conditional formatting on the cells; 1 (completed) = green, 0 (incomplete) = no fill. My brain works better visually, and a page full of green is a lovely sight, and something I aspire to. Initially I had a dark red colour show when I didn’t complete a metric (0), but that was having a negative influence on my thinking/motivation, so I’ve left it to ‘no fill’.
|Visualise Outcomes||MITs||Mobility||KB Swings||Art||Journal PM||Alcohol 0-2||Bed before 10.30||Learning/Reading||Notes|
|01/07/2016||1||1||1||1||1||1||10||1||1||2||0||Feral – George Monbiot|
|02/07/2016||1||1||1||1||0||0||20||1||1||1||0||Feral – George Monbiot|
|03/07/2016||1||1||1||1||1||1||25||0||1||5||0||Feral – George Monbiot|
|04/07/2016||1||1||1||1||0||0||20||0||1||0||0||Feral – George Monbiot|
|05/07/2016||1||1||1||1||1||1||25||0||0||4||0||AWAY IN ENGLAND|
|06/07/2016||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||7||0||AWAY IN ENGLAND|
|07/07/2016||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||0||4||0||AWAY IN ENGLAND|
|08/07/2016||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||7||0||AWAY IN ENGLAND|
|09/07/2016||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||2||1||Feral – George Monbiot|
|10/07/2016||1||1||1||1||1||1||10||0||1||2||1||Anything You Want – Derek Sivers|
Christine Gilbert (Almost Fearless/WeCreate.global) recommended Asana and I LOVE IT. I have used Trello in the past, as I like the visual nature of it, but it is hard to manage once you have more than a 4-5 boards, and >10 cards per board. I need to be able to see all the tasks for ALL the projects I’ve got on the go, and if it’s not on the one page, there’s a good chance it’ll get missed. A lot of important tasks started to fall through the cracks and I stopped using Trello effectively mid way last year; pretty much once I started traveling, and supplementing with post-it notes was no longer a workable option.
Asana on the other hand allows me to see all my tasks in one view, no matter what project, AND it has a beautiful easy to use calendar view. I love having the calendar view – I can priorities my MITs (Most Important Things) really easily, and if I run out of day, I simply drag the task to the next suitable day. It allows repeat tasks to be scheduled and its user interface is just lovely. I highly recommend giving it a go if you’re looking for a task tracking tool. The Android app is well developed too.
Daily Gratitude Journal
Tim Ferriss has raved about the positive impact journaling has had on his life. I considered a Five Minute Journal but found that they’re fairly expensive to ship outside the USA, and being a digital nomad, carrying around a hard backed book is also not the best idea. Instead, I started journaling in Evernote, and then in a Google Doc. However, I wanted to easily see what I’d recorded previously, so I switched it to a Google Sheet, and I now use one row per day to record my entries. I based my template on what Tim advised in this review is in the Five Minute Journal.
|Date||I am grateful for (3):||What are the most important things I could do today:||Affirmation: I am:||What 3 amazing things happened today:|
I’ve found the gratitude component puts me in positive frame of mind, to start the day, by reminding me that a lot of wonderful people, things (coffee!) and events are in my life. It’s especially useful if I’m having a bad morning.