Productivity Monday is devoted to sharing tricks of the trade and law school survival skills.
A personal productivity system is a lot like going to the gym. If you don’t see changes, it’s easy to throw in the towel and revert back to your default state. Unlike developing a six-pack though, it can be harder to see the benefits of being organized.
One of the best ways of staying motivated is tracking accomplishments, rather than just to-dos. iDoneThis is a great webapp that does just this. Everyday at a set time, iDoneThis emails you and asks a simple question: “what’d you get done today?” Hit reply and jot down some of your achievements and it stores it in a calendar for you, accessible online. The feed function is useful for those who want it displayed on their calendars (I subscribe to mine via iCal.)
Why track your accomplishments?
Reviewing your day is an integral part of being productive. Disciplining yourself to spend 30 seconds a day reflecting on what you’ve accomplished, allows you to think about your priorities and make small changes that ultimately make you more effective.
On a more practical level, lawyers live their lives by time sheets (calculated in 6 minute increments!) There have been a number of times where I’ve had to look back at my calendar to figure out what I did on a particular day. Lifehacker suggests keeping a log of your responsibilities and successes when you need to update your CV.
In the long run, if you don’t pop your head up during the rat race every, and think about where you’re going, it’s easy to find yourself chasing the wrong thing. Start by adding in a daily reflection and ask yourself: “what did I get done today?”