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I Stopped Using Physical Notebooks And This Made Me More Productive

I Stopped Using Physical Notebooks And This Made Me More Productive

I used to plan every single day the night before in my planner, but for the new year, I decided to try just using digital notes instead. It saves on space because I don’t have to carry around extra notebooks, plus the notifications I set up remind me of the things I’m meant to be doing. I usually forget these when I’m using paper, and I only realize that night (when I plan the next day) that I’ve missed them.

When we plan we become much more productive, so awhile back I began to make this an integral part of my life. But it was only recently that I began using my planner on my Mac and apps like Google Keep to keep me on target for what I wanted to do and by when.

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The alerts mean I am more focused and don’t lose track of the time. For example, I have an alarm set up for when I want to go to bed. This is a small thing, but it makes sure I get enough sleep, which sets me up for the next day.

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Using technology instead of paper just makes working out my day and week simpler. This way I can jot down what I want to do whilst on the job. It keeps it all together, which is reassuring (as I have a habit of leaving my diary at home), and it means everything is in one place.

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I also write music and make notes electronically. I use my computer so much that having inspirational quotes and ideas right there just makes sense (rather than creating another drawer full of old ideas, which is not only wasteful in terms of the environment, it also clutters up my desk at home). I do the same for writing poems or ideas for blog posts. This way you don’t have to type up your ideas, which is what I’d be doing anyway if I was using them.

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Overall, this saves time and even saves the environment a little bit. I don’t think I’ll be switching back to the old pen and notebook just yet.

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More by this author

Daniel Owen van Dommelen

Coder, Director, Writer, Human

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Last Updated on June 1, 2021

7 Signs That You’re Way Too Busy (And Need to Change That)

7 Signs That You’re Way Too Busy (And Need to Change That)

“Busy” used to be a fair description of the typical schedule. More and more, though, “busy” simply doesn’t cut it.

“Busy” has been replaced with “too busy”, “far too busy”, or “absolutely buried.” It’s true that being productive often means being busy…but it’s only true up to a point.

As you likely know from personal experience, you can become so busy that you reach a tipping point…a point where your life tips over and falls apart because you can no longer withstand the weight of your commitments.

Once you’ve reached that point, it becomes fairly obvious that you’ve over-committed yourself.

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The trick, though, is to recognize the signs of “too busy” before you reach that tipping point. A little self-assessment and some proactive schedule-thinning can prevent you from having that meltdown.

To help you in that self-assessment, here are 7 signs that you’re way too busy:

1. You Can’t Remember the Last Time You Took a Day Off

Occasional periods of rest are not unproductive, they are essential to productivity. Extended periods of non-stop activity result in fatigue, and fatigue results in lower-quality output. As Sydney J. Harris once said,

“The time to relax is when you don’t have time for it.”

2. Those Closest to You Have Stopped Asking for Your Time

Why? They simply know that you have no time to give them. Your loved ones will be persistent for a long time, but once you reach the point where they’ve stopped asking, you’ve reached a dangerous level of busy.

3. Activities like Eating Are Always Done in Tandem with Other Tasks

If you constantly find yourself using meal times, car rides, etc. as times to catch up on emails, phone calls, or calendar readjustments, it’s time to lighten the load.

It’s one thing to use your time efficiently. It’s a whole different ballgame, though, when you have so little time that you can’t even focus on feeding yourself.

4. You’re Consistently More Tired When You Get up in the Morning Than You Are When You Go to Bed

One of the surest signs of an overloaded schedule is morning fatigue. This is a good indication that you’ve not rested well during the night, which is a good sign that you’ve got way too much on your mind.

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If you’ve got so much to do that you can’t even shut your mind down when you’re laying in bed, you’re too busy.

5. The Most Exercise You Get Is Sprinting from One Commitment to the Next

It’s proven that exercise promotes healthy lives. If you don’t care about that, that’s one thing. If you’d like to exercise, though, but you just don’t have time for it, you’re too busy.

If the closest thing you get to exercise is running from your office to your car because you’re late for your ninth appointment of the day, it’s time to slow down.

Try these 5 Ways to Find Time for Exercise.

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6. You Dread Getting up in the Morning

If your days are so crammed full that you literally dread even starting them, you’re too busy. A new day should hold at least a small level of refreshment and excitement. Scale back until you find that place again.

7. “Survival Mode” Is Your Only Mode

If you can’t remember what it feels like to be ahead of schedule, or at least “caught up”, you’re too busy.

So, How To Get out of Busyness?

Take a look at this video:

And these articles to help you get unstuck:

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Featured photo credit: Khara Woods via unsplash.com

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