Ridiculously Simple Productivity

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Photo by Marjan Grabowski on Unsplash

I’m not a person who believes in New Year’s Resolutions. I think they’re hanging an unrealistic promise that’s tied to an arbitrary date on a calendar that is doomed to fail the minute you make it. So, I don’t do it.

I do have goals of course, but they have nothing to do with where the sun is or how much time I spend awake in pursuit of them. Living the life GaryVee would like you to live will result in a psychotic break, I’m convinced of that. Additionally, only Tony Robbins knows for sure what’s going on in his head, but it’s damn sure not happening in mine.

Over the past year, I’ve been working on trying to figure out my wiring. Specifically the part of my brain that can recall song lyrics immediately but forget anything I’m supposed to be doing, and how best to remind myself to do those things. I’ve tried Brendon Burchard’s High-Performance Planner, I’ve tried to use Evernote as a Journaling System, I’ve tried Ryder Carroll’s Bullet Journal Method to Track my days and the stuff I need to do. I’ve tried David Allen’s GTD Method. I’ve tried getting earlier in the morning than I normally do so I can attempt to plan my day before others plan it for me. I’ve tried a bunch of other things I’ve picked up here and there and while I’m sure these things work for other people, they just don’t work for me because every single one of these methods make things WAY more complicated than they need to be, and in many of these cases, more expensive. I’m not gonna lie, I like the Bullet Journal notebook. But for 30 bucks, I can get 3 similar notebooks and the only difference as far as I can see is the very beginning and the end of the Bullet Journal, and one more ribbon bookmark. That’s it.

Since Ryder Carroll has been kind enough to post his method on YouTube, do I need to pay about 20 bucks difference for 10 pages and a piece of ribbon? On top of that, it’s another piece of kit I need to drag around with me that I will invariably forget because we’re talking about my addled forgetful brain. It makes no sense to carry around something extra to help me remember things if I keep forgetting to take it with me. I suspect that I’m not the only person who has this problem. I literally would forget my head somewhere if it wasn’t attached to the rest of me.

So, I need to need to be able to track a to-do list on something simple, free (or cheap), that isn’t another thing to carry around and can do my remembering for me. Turns out, today’s phones do all of this already.

I have an iPhone I carry with me every ding dang day, and you have a phone of some kind. In my case, the iPhone has the reminders app. Inside the reminders app, you can create several different lists for different things, and you can certainly do that, but I like to keep things very simple, so I just use the default. Add tasks in as you need to, set alarms for things so they notify you, and mark them complete and they move to the completed list. I look at the completed list every so often to remind myself that I *did* do something, but that’s it. No weird symbols to fill in, no moving things from one list to another manually, and no forgetting where you put it. Also, because it’s an iPhone, it syncs to iCloud, so I can pull it down on the iPad, my Mac at home, my PC at work, my watch…any of those devices, anywhere. I’m not an Android user, but my understanding is that Google Services sync to Android devices just as seamlessly.

So, my goal for the next few months — let’s say a quarter — is to use this method exclusively, and see how well I stick to it. I believe that it will be easy to use and very hard to screw up unless I just don’t do it, which means it’s not complicated, I’m just being lazy. That’s true though; I am lazy. That’s why I would prefer to let the tech do the hard stuff like remembering where I’m supposed to be, what I’m doing, and when. Then, all I have to do is show up.

I call this Ridiculously Simple Productivity because it’s so simple we’ve probably already thought about this and didn’t do it for some reason because IT CAN’T BE THAT SIMPLE.

It is that simple. Try it first before you buy something you may not need.

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