Would you like more time to do the things you truly enjoy? Want to avoid missing an appointment, important action-item or payment? How about spending more time on high value activities that will contribute to your long term success? There we go! Pay dirt!
If so, it is important to spend less (ZERO) time “thinking about” or trying to recall important information, such as:
- Where am I supposed to be today at 10am?
- What did I promise to do for my boss today?
- When was that payment due?
- I’d better get my wife a birthday present.
If we have these kinds of questions and thoughts constantly running through our mind we are stressing – unnecessarily!
While important topics, I’d suggest that burning brain cells on items such as these is using our unbelievably powerful mind for, well, trivialities. It is like pouring sugar into a car’s gas tank. It totally jams up the system, preventing much higher value activities from occurring. I HATE that!
Personally, I don’t remember ANY OF THAT STUFF!
How do I get done, what I get done? Once an appointment or to-do is identified I immediately place it within my electronic brain and forget about it…until it is time to pay attention.
How do I do this?
Let’s start with appointments
There is a simple place for these. It is called an electronic calendar. Within this calendar, we can place EVERY appointment we have:
- The weekly class we are taking (setup a recurring appointment, once, and it will repeat weekly until the end-date)
- Dinner / date
- Business meeting (in-person or con-call)
- Bike ride
Did I say “every” appointment, important date or scheduled activity?
This would include every commitment we have made to be somewhere or do something at a specific / “allocated” time. Then, we must simply glance at our calendar, at least once a day, to determine where we need to be. And, if/when someone asks: “Are you available next Tuesday at 10:30?” we can quickly view our calendar and respond. This, vs. “straining” to remember what may be on tap for that day and time. We’ll talk about “where” this calendar resides, shortly…
In keeping with a prior post about “being on time” I add a reminder to alert me in the appropriate amount of time, in advance. For example: if I have a meeting that is 20 miles away from where I’ll be on that day, I’ll have the appointment reminder alert me 45-minutes in advance. Doing so ensures I wrap-up whatever I may be in the middle of, get to my car and make it to the meeting: before the other person!
And, when I’m meeting with someone I add / invite them to the calendar appointment (via their email address) so that it shows up on their calendar as well. And, they’ll get the same alert I do 🙂
Now, for to-do’s
Like appointments, there is a simple place for these. In an electronic to-do list (which is actually integrated with the electronic calendar). This list contains EVERYTHING that we’ve decided is important to do, such as:
- Complete that assignment at school
- Finish that report for the client
- Fertilize the lawn
- Bike 20 miles
- Call Mom and Dad
- Setup that meeting
- Buy that gift
Recording a “to-do” in our electronic brain includes:
- Setting a due date (the day that the item will show-up on the list for action or attention)
- Setting a priority (A-MUST be done on that day, B-Important to be done on that day, C-Nice to be done on that day)
- Categorizing as Home Maintenance, Personal, Business, etc.
What is “my” electronic brain, you might ask? Well, it consists of:
- my iPhone
- my MacBook
- YOUR computer 🙂
That is, I can (securely) access my electronic brain from ANY of the devices above, because I keep all this information “in the cloud” using Google Calendar and Gmail. I only have to touch the item once and it is available – ANYWHERE!
And, since my iPhone is seldom more than a few inches away (unless I’m underwater, deeper than my Lifeproof case warrants) I have IMMEDIATE access to any / all of this information. As such, I don’t have to “remember” any of these “trivialities.” When something is coming due or needs my attention I am auto-magically alerted. I LOVE that!
Notice that the list of example appointments and to-do’s contain personal and professional items? Well, it MUST. All are vying for our time. And, if we don’t effectively manage ALL OF THESE then our brain starts spinning its wheels as we thrash around trying to, well, keep up with ourselves.
It does not, ever, have to be this way.
Simply set it and forget it. Until…