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Don’t Make This Blunder If You Are Making Yourself Productive

Photo by Matt Ragland on Unsplash

I practise productivity religiously.

I’m also a big fan of journaling.

I keep reading a lot about how people have achieved things in life, the strategies, the hacks, the quick fixes, the habits, and the goals.

Every time, I find something new, I note it down in my journal. I try inculcating the same in my habit and set up a goal to make that a habit in 21 days.

But very recently, I realized I was doing it all wrong!

Yes, there is nothing to hide.

And if I could go wrong, you could also.

And if I can make it right, you can also.

As I have mentioned before, I’m a solopreneur and have to plan my day, my tasks, my habits, my goals all on my own. I don’t have anybody who can direct and make my life little easier, or micromanage me and make my life literally miserable.

Since now everything is on me, I have to develop a routine. I have to practise certain habits that include finishing off some of the daily tasks in order to achieve my goals.

Now, let me walk you through where I was going wrong.

I was following this pattern in reverse: Habits -> Tasks -> Goals

I was first narrowing down measurable goals, then tasks to achieve those goals, and those tasks into habits.

🎯 “GOAL”

My goal was to make my first $100 through Medium member only posts by June end.

It’s pretty clear, right? A measurable earning within a defined duration.

👉 What did I do next? (blunder)

I marked this in my calendar, with a reminder every day.

Wohooo! I thought that’s (adding to my calendar) the first step to progress.


📜 “TASKS”

Next, as my goal was clear, I had to define what could make me achieve this goal.

I designed 5 tasks that could make me achieve it strategically.

  1. Writing meaningful, insightful content every single day.
  2. Following 300 Medium followers every single day.
  3. Reading 5 insightful articles every single day.
  4. Clapping on those insightful articles every single day.
  5. Distributing good articles on my network every single day.

Do you see what is common here? “Every Single Day”.

👉 What did I do next? (blunder)

I included every task on my calendar, with a reminder every day.

And, I thought my non-blank calendar looked really productive. I was wrong!


📌 “HABITS”

While my goal and associated tasks were pretty clear, I had to develop certain habits. Because, if I don’t set up habits, I won’t be pursuing daily. I won’t be persistent and consistent.

I had to develop habits at any cost.

But I did one more blunder.

I couldn’t differentiate between my goal, my tasks, and my habits.

I placed everything in my calendar. (This I shouldn’t have done).

There are reasons why there are multiple apps for certain things. I thought my calendar was everything. I was wrong!

I took some time and realized that certain tasks to achieve that goal included “Deep Work + Daily Work”

Deep work was writing meaningful, insightful content every single day.

Every other thing was daily work.

So, the daily work had to become my habits.

I had to stick to doing all the 4 other work on a daily basis.

I thought my calendar would compel me to do on every single day, but somehow I was missing on my tasks.

Although I had allocated defined time to do those daily work, sometimes I delayed, sometimes I snoozed the reminders.

👉 What did I do next? (The Right Thing)

I downloaded this Habit Loop app. (Habit Tracker Mobile App).

Disclaimer: I’m no way associated with this app. I’m only recommending because it has really helped me and will help you as well.

By now, I had this clear vision of my goals, my tasks, and my habits. I just had to remove few things from my calendar and had to place it in the right place.

  1. GOAL: I removed it from my calendar. And, I included this in my daily journal. Every single day, at the end of the day, goes my goal and the remaining days left to achieve that goal. How did this help? My calendar looks one slot empty and gives me a relief, although writing this goal daily on my own in my journal makes me more accountable.
  2. TASKS: I removed the daily work and kept only the deep work on my calendar. How did this help? The calendar reminder reminds me of the important and urgent work, and I decluttered it only for the deep work. Trust me, keep only the deep work on your calendar and see the difference.
  3. HABITS: Since I had removed the daily work from the calendar, I had to place it somewhere so that I could stick to it. I chose “Habit Loop” app. How did this help? This mobile app is pretty easy to use. Very neat, with a lot of white space and with minimal functionalities. Here, I just have to note down all my daily work that needs to be my habit and once I finish those on a daily basis, I just have to mark it checked. To help me further, I have differentiated the habits in different colors, personal work habits in green, other work habits in blue, health habits in pink and so on.

In nutshell,

Never ever keep your tasks, habits, and goals in one place. It won’t help you much.

Instead, distribute and place at the right place:

  1. Journal: For the goal (Write it daily on your own).
  2. Calendar: Only eep work (tasks) on your calendar.
  3. Habit Loop: Habits checked everyday.

You will see the difference in 15 days. Yes, only 15 days.

If you’re going to try this, make sure you come back with your experience to me. I wish to hear all about it. If it worked for you, or not? If it helped you, or not? If you could tweak it better? I’m all ears!