A while back I came across a system for tracking your repetative “to-do” items which can be used as a tool to develop consistent and productive habits. It touches upon the timeless philosophy stating that “what gets measured, gets done”, but the challenge is always in finding a system that meets your needs.
Initially, I discovered a software program at http://www.sciral.com/consistency/ which I used for a while. I will probably start using it again, however, it can become a mess if you don’t have a clear purpose before diving in.
I also go back and forth between hi-tech and low-tech, ultimately finding a balance somewhere inbetween. I’m always keeping my eye out for new ideas as well as developing a few of my own. From what I can tell, there is no such thing as a perfect system for most of our lives. Perhaps my life will fit into a box one day, however, until then, I will continue to search for new ways to keep organized amidst the chaos.
That leads me to the latest tool I came across which definitely fits into the low-tech category. It is called the habit list and can be found at: http://www.productivity501.com/habit-list/308/. I love the simplicity of it and am currently enrolled in the course (http://www.productivity501.com/courses/) that walks you through ways you can use it effectively.
I was somewhat discouraged when I couldn’t find a template to download and get started. I Googled the subject for a bit, but decided to put the idea on hold until I could develop my own form. In doing so, I’m getting to try out another tool that is great for document sharing at http://www.scribd.com. Please find the links below for PDF and Excel versions:
- http://www.scribd.com/doc/3568401/Habit-List-Orig (PDF)
- http://www.scribd.com/doc/3568403/Habit-List-Wide-Ruled (PDF)
- http://www.scribd.com/doc/3568400/Habit-List (Excel)
There are a few other sources that discuss the system developed by Mark Shead at Productivity501…
Then, if you’d like to check out some of the ways that the system can be incorporated into your life go to:
Now that I’ve got a form to work with, I’m looking forward to catching up on the course emails that have been stacking up in my Inbox over the last few days. Perhaps I’ll find a way to work it into my daily groove. Either way, I’m hoping these forms will help someone else get started without the delay I initially encountered.
In closing, here’s another great post that lists out a few habits that will make anyone’s life better: http://www.thechangeblog.com/2007/06/03/24-daily-habits/
“Successful people are successful because they form the habits of doing those things that failures don’t like to do.”
– Albert Gray
“First we form habits, then they form us. Conquer your bad habits or they will conquer you.”
– Rob Gilbert
“New habits can be launched . . . on condition of there being new stimuli and new excitements.”
– William James
“Attitudes are nothing more than habits of thoughts, and habits can be acquired. An action repeated becomes an attitude realized.”
– Paul Myer
“If you create an act, you create a habit. If you create a habit, you create a character. If you create a character, you create a destiny.”
– Andre Maurois
“Happiness is a habit – cultivate it.”
– Elbert Hubbard