I think I was 10 or 11 years old when I picked up an empty notebook and decided to keep a diary. Few of my friends had diaries, so I should keep one, I thought. Needless to say, I hated the commitment. Weeks into the new habit and I found it difficult to sit and jot down in detail my adventures. I didn’t feel I had something to say or a secret to keep. I was so jealous of my friends who kept diaries and knew how to self reflect… but I also knew early on that it was not the comfortable method for me.
Few years ago, I stumbled on a technique to get me out of a productivity rut. At the time, I felt that I had too many ideas in my mind and little time to do it. Sounds familiar? Well, I decided to start keeping a logbook.
Many years ago, sailors kept logbooks to help them track distance and time sailed. The modern version of it is the black box in airplanes; a computerized logbook keeping tack of every activity and decision in the cockpit.
My logbook was a dedicated notebook to simply list down what I had already done during the day. I didn’t want to keep a diary (we’ve established that non desire), so I kept the book to strict listing of activities of the day (minus the emotions, secrets and minus any sort of analysis). It was a simple tactical and practical list keeping, like keeping a reverse scheduling of a calendar.
Few weeks into the experiment, I started to see a pattern of how I used my time unwisely. The “time wasters” of my day were always easy to identify, but looking at my day objectively made me realize what wasn’t so important to me to ‘personally’ handle and what needed from me to create boundaries (for things or people who were draining my time). It made it obvious what I can easily delegate and what I should simply eliminate. That simple act of jotting down my day ‘created’ more time for my ideas & passions. Once my day was on paper, it took the guessing game out of my head and helped my productivity.
These books now are an index of my life: I revisit to check notes and ideas.
Everything changes in our life when we take responsibility for our actions and start focusing on improving our situation. This works for life, for a passion and for a profession. It is a decision and a mindset shift: commit, take action, move forward, repeat.
Everything changes in our life when we take responsibility for our actions and start focusing on improving our situation.Tweet