Make your commitments easy to keep

Personal Kamishibai board

I want to share with you a tool which makes easy to keep and control your life-changing commitments. This includes tasks like exercise, reading, and other kinds of self-improvement activities.

The key to this challenge is visual control. When you can see the current state of all your commitments, you can make better decisions. You will discover when you are overcommitting or procrastinating.

To do that you can use a tool called Kamishibai board. (Kamishibai is a Japanese word meaning “paper theatre”). This tool is often used in manufacturing to control maintenance and audits.

What you need to start using it are a few pins, a few paper tags, and a green and red markers.

Let’s imagine that you decided to exercise for 30 minutes every day. Here’s what you should do.

1. Write a task on one side of a tag with the red marker: “Exercise for 30 minutes.”

2. Write a resulting state on the other side of the tag with the green marker. For example: “Recharge Complete.”

3. Stick the tag in a very visible place to a wall or a pinboard with the pin.

Do the same with all the other commitments you have. Done.

All you need to do now is this:

  • every morning flip all the tags, so they are showing the red side;
  • whenever you complete the task, flip that task tag, so it shows green side;

If you want to keep track of what you’ve done and haven’t done — take a photo right before flipping the tags.

I recommend separating commitments into two categories: daily and weekly. For example, I have a weekly tag for reading one book. And to achieve that, I have a daily tag for reading one chapter.

If you want to publish three blog posts a week — make three tags for each of the blog posts and add them to your weekly board.

You will be surprised how well this works, so try it out. Make your first board now ;)


- Sergey