Here is the last installment of my 5 Essentials series. I hope they’ve been helpful for you as you gear up for another fall season.
Remember that taking small steps, going for small wins, and gradually growing in small changes will yield bigger results than going gangbusters out of the gate.
5 Tips for How to Keep Track
There are a lot of details to keep track of in a life at home. On top of that, there are a lot of systems out there promising they’re the secret sauce that will make all the difference in your sanity.
You do need systems. Systems are just a decision made upfront that you’ll do things a certain way. They don’t have to be cold and impersonal. They are simply the habits you’ve set up for dealing with stuff. And they are always your servant and tool, never your master.
It doesn’t matter what actual tracking system you use to accomplish these. Pick the one that works for you, that appeals for you. But these are the five systems you need in order to keep track of life happening.
You need a calendar and you need to keep it trustworthy. That means every appointment you need to remember (for moms, that means everyone in the family’s appointments) needs to be entered into it right away. That means that you need to have it with you on the go.
Keep one calendar. Keep it updated all the time. Don’t write reminders of events or keep invitations in order to remember – always put it on the calendar right away.
2. Ubiquitous Capture Tool
You need to write everything down, right away. Keep your head clear enough to think by keeping reminders and ideas outside of your mind and on paper you won’t lose.
If you want to go into this more in depth, check out my new free email course: Declutter Your Head.
You might choose to keep a running list on paper or in Evernote, or you might choose an app. What you use doesn’t matter so much as that you keep a list of the things you want and need to do, you keep it pared down, and you look at it regularly.
I use Remember the Milk, and talk about how I use it both in Paperless Home Organization and also in this Simplified Organization Hangout.
4. Daily Card
I love my daily index card: it’s short, simple, and small. I now have several videos explaining my daily card format and why I love it so much:
The daily card is for the big rocks of the day. Know your big rocks, and focus on them more than on the overflowing sandbox of checklist items.
5. Habit Tracking
Whether you add this to your weekly overview planner page, use a paper calendar, or an app, if you really want to focus on building better habits, keeping track is required. I use lift.do and like its simplicity and functionality.
Another way to track health-related habits is to use a site like My Fitness Pal or the dashboard for gadgets like Fitbit or Jawbone. I might have an idea of how active I was in a day or how well I slept or how much I ate, but my fitbit will tell me actualities, which are often quite different from my impressions.