There’s a famous saying, that what gets measured gets managed. If you want to get ahead, you need to measure how you’re doing. Keep track of what you’re doing in every area of your life if you want to manage it, improve it, and work smarter. If you’re working towards any goal, you can’t do it blindly. You have to look at what you’ve done week on week and see where you can improve.
Don’t try to over track your life. But you do need to know that tracking is powerful. We often track things at work for our performance reviews. We track our results, our progress, and our spending. But we rarely track things in our personal lives. We have no idea how powerful the habit of tracking can actually be.
There’s a reason why doctors often encourage you to keep a diary if you have symptoms you can’t pinpoint. If you’re feeling low you might find an unlikely trigger for your mood by writing it down, if you think you have a food allergy they ask you to keep a food diary. Because you start to take notice of the things you do, the things you encounter, and the things you put your body through every day. And once you do, it starts to explain a lot.
T R A C K Y O U R P R O D U C T I V I T Y
Firstly, let’s start with the things you want to achieve. We’ve talked about time management, we’ve talked about productivity. But if you’re unable to get into the zone and smash your goals, you need to track your daily habits.
Writing your day plan down in your Getting Stuff Done planner will help, particularly if you make a note of things like when you went to bed and how your sleep was, and how much water you drank with the water tracker. Then you can look back and see if you can spot a trend. I tend to have a less productive day when I take a working lunch break, I’ve noticed. If I don’t take just ten minutes to browse the news or something, I will feel burned out by the end of the day and unable to get tasks completed.
Of course, there are other trends you might notice. Like, you are less productive when you get more sleep at night. You do worse on performance when you eat fast food. These trends will only become visible once you track them. Try new things and see the results.
T R A C K Y O U R M E A L S
We added the meal section of the Getting Stuff Done planner not just to keep an eye on those health goals, but to help with daily tracking. If you’re wondering why your rigorous exercise isn’t paying off, but then realize you’ve had fries three times a week, you might already know where you need to make changes.
But also, this is really good for finding out how foods affect your mood if there are any foods that you’re sensitive to and whether you need to edit your diet. Write down your meals and make a note in the personal notes section of how you felt anything you noticed, and any major red flags you need to look into.
T R A C K Y O U R D A I L Y O U T C O M E S
A strange trend you might spot is that on certain days you can get more done. Is there something that these days have in common that you might be able to notice. Of course, a lot of this could just be a positive correlation, but it’s always good to track and see if you can spot recurring themes.
You might notice that you smash more goals in certain months, or that when you’re alone in the office you are more productive. Is this because you waste too much time talking? Ask yourself the questions to get really analytical about your habits and truly track everything.
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Featured photo: @fleurandrea