Don’t let your never-ending quest for the latest and
greatest productivity solution be your downfall.
More often than I’d care to admit I have found myself
fighting to implement the latest “productivity hack” — only
to eventually give up on it. Wasted time? Perhaps, but I
don’t beat myself up over it.
I’ve long lived by the motto “personal development is a
hands on project.” Meaning that I believe we have to try new
things and implement what works, but at the same time be
willing to kick to the curb, so to speak, those things that
don’t work for us. While some things may not work, I have
certainly found, and tested many that do (and I bet you have
For example, I formulated the Goal Cards System (as outlined
in greater detail in my book) as a result of having tried
various goal setting strategies and combining the bits and
pieces from different approaches that I found worked best.
I’ve taught it to countless people, and judging from the
positive feedback it has received over the years its helped
a lot of folks.
One of the things that I see getting in the way of the
positive results a lot of people might otherwise have
received is that they are simply making things too complex.
Things don’t have to be confusing (nor should they be) to be
I have been a student of personal and professional
development since I was 15 years old. I can tell you — the
simpler something is to stick with, the more likely it is
going to be that people actually will. Simple, yes, but make
no mistake, consistency and the ability to stick to a given
task is the difference between hoping something becomes a
reality, and seeing it manifest in your world.
A simple productivity tool that can make all the
Keeping with the theme of “simple, yet incredibly effective
productivity solution” here’s something I want to encourage
you to implement into your daily routine if you haven’t
Use a calendar.
If after reading my suggestion you’re uninspired, bear with
me and hear me out. Friend, as we already established,
virtually anything you set out to accomplish will require
your attention, and you’re going to have to work ongoing at
it. Since you can’t very likely finish whatever it is you
hope to accomplish in one sitting it’s going to require you
to come back to it over a period of time. Therefore; you
need something that will visually remind you to get back to
work on the particular endeavor.
Personally, I prefer a web based calendar that syncs between
my phone, tablet, computer, etc. I also appreciate that I
can set reminders from within the calendar solution which
further helps to ensure I’m nagged into actually doing what
needs to be done, when it needs to be done 🙂
Another nice benefit of using my calendar is that I can
easily look back and review what I accomplished at a quick
glance. It is also nice to know I can “brain dump” tasks
that need doing, but might otherwise just swim around in my
head until they got done (assuming I was able remember said
task at all).
If something needs to be done, it’s worth writing it down.
You’re sure to greatly improve the odds that it’ll get
Schedule it all…
That’s right, don’t just plug your “work / professional
life” into your calendar. Often our lives, both “work &
personal” can intersect greatly. I don’t know about you, but
I’m “always on” in some respect. I just love what I do for a
living to the point that there’s a lot of overlap in the
time I spend between “work & personal time.” As the saying
goes, “find something to do you love and you won’t have to
work a day in your life.” Whatever the reason, I find that
my life runs smoother when I plug it all into my calendar.
So for example, on a typical day my calendar might include
the following entries:
– radio show interview
– client call
– catch up on call with friend
– write article
You get the idea. The point is while it is important to make
sure you’re reminded of that important business meeting, or
sales call, it should be as equally important to you to be
reminded of the personal items which require your attention.
So yes, schedule dates with your significant other. Make a
point to put activities in your calendar. Don’t just say you
want to attend more of your kids activities and hope you
manage to do so by some stroke of luck. Put it on your
calendar just as you would any important activity. It is
important after all.
On a personal note, I’ll confess that at different points in
my life I wasn’t as intentional about giving my personal
life as much priority as I did my “professional” one. As a
result I’m sure it has played a part in my having missed out
on what might otherwise have been some very wonderful
relationships, and great memories. I don’t mention this for
sympathy, nor do I want you to think I’m dwelling on it. I
just bring it up because I think it is worth mentioning
because it is very much why I make an effort now to plug
everything into my calendar now as I mentioned. I make time
for the “work” and “personal” — I’m not perfect at it, but
when I catch myself slipping into old patterns I course
correct as needed.
Hopefully these ideas are helpful to you. Give it a try.
Make your calendar your partner in productivity. And like
me, you might just wonder what took you so long embrace the
simplicity of it.
Keep this in mind:
The things we give our attention to, get done, more often
than not. Friend, make no mistake, the ongoing use of a
calendar into your regular routine will do wonders for
making sure more of the things you need to be giving your
attention to, get worked on.