About a year ago I ditched my index card method for daily goals in favor of using my task list. I’ve always had an electronic task list going back to college – first it was in Outlook, then in Thunderbird, then iPrioritize, and now Remember the Milk (only because it integrates with my Pure Adapt Google Start Page). The problem is, for me, a task list is really something different from daily goals. Tasks are things like “pay credit card bill” and “check on backups”. They are things that generally take only a few minutes, but need to be done. They are things that would probably slip my mind if I didn’t have an organized method of getting them done.
Goals are something different entirely. They are what I want to accomplish with the day, not simply small tasks that I need to get done. Today for example, my list goals included “Finish programming My Account section of new cart” and “Prep cart demo for meeting Thursday”, while my tasks involved things like checking my weekly cell phone minutes to make sure I didn’t go over this month.
I realized I really couldn’t successfully mix my tasks and goals, so I finally went back to my index card method this week. Of course, I’m loving it and wondering why in hell I ever thought it was a good idea to stop in the first place.
Having my goals physically in front of me keeps me focused on what’s important for the day, and only what’s important for the day (I tend to sometimes get overwhelmed when I think about everything I need to get done in the next week/month/year).
There’s also something very theraputic about having your goals on an index card. At night, the very last thing I do is fill out the card for the following day. Then I forget about those goals until the morning, which helps me separate myself from work and sleep more peacefully…as opposed to thinking “what do I need to do tomorrow?” as I’m falling asleep.
Plus there’s just something fun about physically scratching stuff off of a list. It makes you feel good about yourself, more-so than checking a box on a website for some reason. If the entire index card gets completed at a decent hour (as it did today), I can step away from work feeling that I did a good job for the day. Can’t put a price on that.