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Innovative Paper Planners (and more) from WeekDate

Innovative Paper Planners (and more) from WeekDate

"I Need From" Pad from WeekDate

    For any number of reasons, some people prefer paper to electrons for keeping track of their schedules, to-do lists, and other organizational needs. If you’re one of those people, you simply have to check out the products available from WeekDate.

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    WeekDate planner - open

      WeekDate makes one of the most innovative paper planners on the market, their namesake WeekDate Weekly Planner. The WeekDate is available in a number of attractive, stylish covers, but what really sets it apart from other paper planners is it’s accommodation for recurring events. The three-panel design allows you to list recurring monthly events on the top panel, recurring weekly events in the bottom panel, and one-off daily events in the middle – which means you don’t have to re-enter that monthly doctor’s appointment or that weekly status meeting every time you flip a page in your planner. The efficient design and clear layout make it easy to see everything at a glance, so you can quickly find available times for new meetings or see what’s up next on your agenda. ($34.95)

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      The WeekDate system is also available as a wall calendar, which would make an excellent addition to a would-be organized family’s kitchen wall. ($34.95)

      WeekDate has just announced a new product that appeals to the lifehackista in me, the I Need From Pad (or “INF” for short). The INF is a tabbed shopping list, so you can easily create and add to separate lists for, say, the grocery store, the home improvement store, the kid’s school clothes, and the pet store – or wherever else you find yourself needing to shop on a semi-regular basis.  Pages are glue-bound, like a memo pad, so they can be removed easily to take just the pages you need when you’re headed to a particular store – leaving the rest intact. ($9.95)

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      I’m less impressed by WeekDate’s What Did I Wear When? Pad, which allows you to record your clothing choices for various events so you can avoid showing up next time in the same outfit. It looks incredibly functional for the task it’s designed to do, but I’m not sure I see the need for it. Then again, anyone who knows me knows I’m not exactly a fashion maven – I do my best to wear clothes that more-or-less match, but being seen in the same outfit more than once isn’t really on my “to-worry-about” list. More fashion-minded people may disagree – perhaps the What Did I Wear When? Pad finally scratches an itch you’ve lived with all your life. ($13.95)

      (For a different take on the What Did I Wear When? Pad from someone who did find it useful, check out the review from Right Brain Organizing.)

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      In the interest of fair disclosure, I should mention that WeekDate has been a sponsor of one of Lifehack’s contests, the Spread the Love contest we held last February. But I’m not promoting them here because they’ve been a sponsor – they became a sponsor because we love them! Lifehack has been singing the praises of the WeekDate system since well before last Valentine’s Day; Lorie Marrero write them up almost a year earlier, saying “WeekDate is one of the most creative things I have seen in a while.”

      So give WeekDate a look. It’s not too late to pick up a calendar for 2009, and it’s never too late to get your shopping organized.

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      Last Updated on March 31, 2020

      Is Procrastination Bad? The Truth About Procrastination Revealed

      Is Procrastination Bad? The Truth About Procrastination Revealed

      Procrastination is very literally the opposite of productivity. To produce something is to pull it forward, while to procrastinate is to push it forward — to tomorrow, to next week, or ultimately to never.

      Procrastination fills us with shame — we curse ourselves for our laziness, our inability to focus on the task at hand, our tendency to be easily led into easier and more immediate gratifications. And with good reason: for the most part, time spent procrastinating is time spent not doing things that are, in some way or other, important to us.

      There is a positive side to procrastination, but it’s important not to confuse procrastination at its best with everyday garden-variety procrastination.

      Sometimes — sometimes! — procrastination gives us the time we need to sort through a thorny issue or to generate ideas. In those rare instances, we should embrace procrastination — even as we push it away the rest of the time.

      Why We Procrastinate After All?

      We procrastinate for a number of reasons, some better than others. One reason we procrastinate is that, while we know what we want to do, we need time to let the ideas “ferment” before we are ready to sit down and put them into action.

      Some might call this “creative faffing”; I call it, following copywriter Ray Del Savio’s lead, “concepting”.[1]

      Whatever you choose to call it, it’s the time spent dreaming up what you want to say or do, weighing ideas in your mind, following false leads and tearing off on mental wild goose chases, and generally thinking things through.

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      To the outside observer, concepting looks like… well, like nothing much at all. Maybe you’re leaning back in your chair, feet up, staring at the wall or ceiling, or laying in bed apparently dozing, or looking out over the skyline or feeding pigeons in the park or fiddling with the Japanese vinyl toys that stand watch over your desk.

      If ideas are the lifeblood of your work, you have to make time for concepting, and you have to overcome the sensation— often overpowering in our work-obsessed culture — that faffing, however creative, is not work.

      Is Procrastination Bad?

      Yes it is.

      Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you’re “concepting” when in fact you’re just not sure what you’re supposed to be doing.

      Spending an hour staring at the wall while thinking up the perfect tagline for a marketing campaign is creative faffing; staring at the wall for an hour because you don’t know how to come up with a tagline, or don’t know the product you’re marketing well enough to come up with one, is just wasting time.

      Lack of definition is perhaps the biggest friend of your procrastination demons. When we’re not sure what to do — whether because we haven’t planned thoroughly enough, we haven’t specified the scope of what we hope to accomplish in the immediate present, or we lack important information, skills, or resources to get the job done.

      It’s easy to get distracted or to trick ourselves into spinning our wheels doing nothing. It takes our mind off the uncomfortable sensation of failing to make progress on something important.

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      The answer to this is in planning and scheduling. Rather than giving yourself an unspecified length of time to perform an unspecified task (“Let’s see, I guess I’ll work on that spreadsheet for a while”) give yourself a limited amount of time to work on a clearly defined task (“Now I’ll enter the figures from last months sales report into the spreadsheet for an hour”).

      Giving yourself a deadline, even an artificial one, helps build a sense of urgency and also offers the promise of time to “screw around” later, once more important things are done.

      For larger projects, planning plays a huge role in whether or not you’ll spend too much time procrastinating to reach the end reasonably quickly.

      A good plan not only lists the steps you have to take to reach the end, but takes into account the resources, knowledge and inputs from other people you’re going to need to perform those steps.

      Instead of futzing around doing nothing because you don’t have last month’s sales report, getting the report should be a step in the project.

      Otherwise, you’ll spend time cooling your heels, justifying your lack of action as necessary: you aren’t wasting time because you want to, but because you have to.

      How Bad Procrastination Can Be

      Our mind can often trick us into procrastinating, often to the point that we don’t realize we’re procrastinating at all.

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      After all, we have lots and lots of things to do; if we’re working on something, aren’t we being productive – even if the one big thing we need to work on doesn’t get done?

      One way this plays out is that we scan our to-do list, skipping over the big challenging projects in favor of the short, easy projects. At the end of the day, we feel very productive: we’ve crossed twelve things off our list!

      That big project we didn’t work on gets put onto the next day’s list, and when the same thing happens, it gets moved forward again. And again.

      Big tasks often present us with the problem above – we aren’t sure what to do exactly, so we look for other ways to occupy ourselves.

      In many cases too, big tasks aren’t really tasks at all; they’re aggregates of many smaller tasks. If something’s sitting on your list for a long time, each day getting skipped over in favor of more immediately doable tasks, it’s probably not very well thought out.

      You’re actively resisting it because you don’t really know what it is. Try to break it down into a set of small tasks, something more like the tasks you are doing in place of the one big task you aren’t doing.

      More consequences of procrastination can be found in this article: 8 Dreadful Effects of Procrastination That Can Destroy Your Life

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      Procrastination, a Technical Failure

      Procrastination is, more often than not, a sign of a technical failure, not a moral failure.

      It’s not because we’re bad people that we procrastinate. Most times, procrastination serves as a symptom of something more fundamentally wrong with the tasks we’ve set ourselves.

      It’s important to keep an eye on our procrastinating tendencies, to ask ourselves whenever we notice ourselves pushing things forward what it is about the task we’ve set ourselves that simply isn’t working for us.

      Learn more about how to fix your procrastination problem here: What Is Procrastination and How to Stop It (The Complete Guide)

      Featured photo credit: chuttersnap via unsplash.com

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