Long ago, I used to keep to-do lists separately from my calendar. In fact, what prompted me to write this post were the multiple to-do lists that I found from several years ago, one for each business entity that I run, with items that were never completed. (I still have those lists but I’m choosing to ignore them for now because they’re not high on my priorities.) No matter how hard I worked each day, I used to be constantly nagged by the sense that I was not accomplishing anything of significance at all. By keeping them – to-do lists and calendar – separately, I was creating stressful situations for myself unnecessarily.
Then a few years ago, someone reminded me of the Franklin Covey Time Management concept that I had learned while in the corporate world, which was well over a decade ago. Back then, there was no hand-held electronic device. I re-learned that it would be far more productive to schedule the tasks within the calendar. Think about it. Every single one of us is given 24 hours a day – not a second more, not a second less. Scheduling the tasks in my smart-phone calendar makes such good sense. It has been my mode of operation since. It has worked out well for quite some time now.
At the end of each night, on my iPhone calendar, I see an entry called, “To-do list for tomorrow.” By prioritizing and scheduling the most important items on the calendar, they usually get done. Magic!
Unlike my younger self that was never satisfied with my own performance, I no longer sweat it if not everything on the calendar gets done – so long as the top few priorities of the day are completed.
Earlier this year, when I was playing on my iPhone with 絵文字 or emoji – pronounced eh-moji, which means “picture characters” in Japanese – it dawned on me that I could give myself a checkmark whenever a task was accomplished.
I don’t know about you but I love checkmarks. They give me a sense of accomplishment. Even the mundane daily tasks that I used to ignore – but should never be – are actually getting done because I can reward myself with checkmarks.
Recently, I went a step further. For a few of the most important tasks in our investment business, I began combining a green checkmark with a thumbs-up emoji for an offer made or with a money-bag emoji for a deal closed. Keeping track of accomplishments on a daily basis, when everything is fresh in my mind, helps update the Weekly Score Card with relative ease. As you probably guessed, the Weekly Score Card is part of my annual, quarterly, and monthly goals.
Those emoji characters that I give to myself – when I deserve them – bring joy to me every time for a job well done. I guess I’m still a little kid at heart. Try it. You’ll like it, too!