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Wikify Your Life: How to Organize Everything

Wikify Your Life: How to Organize Everything
Wedding plans

    In our lives we have all kinds of information that we need to keep track of — to-do lists, gift ideas, books we want to read, exercise or food logs, a budget, phone numbers, a weekly schedule, our goals — the list is endless. The problem is finding a good place to keep all of that information — the usual mode is to have these lists and logs and schedules scattered all over the place, but that is chaos.

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    If you want to be organized, put all you’re life’s info in one place. And if you need a great tool to do that, look no further than a personal wiki.

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    Wikis are everywhere, many are free, they’re easy to use, flexible as anything, an perfectly accessible anywhere, or portable if you want to take them on a USB thumb drive. Put everything into your personal wiki, and you’ll never have to look around for anything again.

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    What can you put into a wiki? Anything you can think of, including images and links to other types of files. Here are some great uses for a personal wiki:

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    • To-do lists: In fact, you can easily do a simple GTD, wiki style. GTD (the written part of it, at least) is just a bunch of lists. Many GTD programs have gotten pretty fancy, but at the heart, it’s just lists. Wikis do lists great. You could have a page with all your context lists, and next to each action, simply put an internal link to the name of the project, and voila — you’ve created a project page. So one page for all your context lists (and someday/maybe) and separate pages for each project. Simple and easy.
      To-do
      • Wish lists: What books, cd, DVDs, games, toys and gadgets you want. Make separate lists for each type of thing, or one great big “If I Were a Millionaire, I’d Own Everything on this List” list.
      • Gift ideas: birthdays or Christmas still months away? If you’ve got an idea, sock it away on this list and come back for it later.
      • Checklists: Never forget anything again. Create checklists for every common thing you undertake, at work or in your personal life, and store them all in your wiki. Packing lists, party planning checklists, chores lists, project checklists … you get the picture.
      • Reading list: I keep a list of all the books I read, along with a list of the books I have lined up to read next.
      • Logs: I like to keep logs of my exercise, but you could do a food diary, spending log, or anything really. If you’re working on a goal or habit, keeping track of them is one of the best ways to get there.
      • Goals: Write out your top goals for the year, and then under that, your mini-goals for this month. Then, of those mini-goals, what tasks you’re going to complete this year. This personal wiki will make your dreams come true.
      • Diary: I like to do a one-sentence journal. It’s easy, fast, and it’s nice to be able to look back on what happened in my life. I was never good at keeping a journal until I hit upon the one-sentence journal idea. Now it’s a habit, and one that’s vastly rewarding.
        Contacts
        • Contacts: Haven’t found an ideal contact manager? Just use a wiki. Easy to add new stuff, searchable, simple.
        • Workspace: If you use multiple computers, a wiki is a great place to do your work, accessible from anywhere with an internet connection.
        • Collaborate: A wiki page can be shared with a number of users, all of whom can be authorized to make changes, making a wiki a great way to work on a project with a group.
        • Bookmarks: Save your favorite sites, organize them by categories, and have it all in your personal wiki.
        • Snippets of text: find something useful on the web, or in a document? Paste it here to look up and use later.
          Vacation plans
          • Reference: If you have stuff you’ll definitely look up later, either for personal use or in a project, create a wiki reference page.
          • Plan: plan a wedding, party, event, vacation, home repairs, anything.

          These are just a few examples. You can probably think of a lot more.

          Where do you go if you want to create a wiki? There are hundreds of wikis on the web. Here are a few places to look to start you out:

          More by this author

          Leo Babauta

          Founder of Zen Habits and expert in habits building and goals achieving.

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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

          Reference

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