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Monique’s October Challenge: Is an analog approach the silver bullet to productivity hacks?

If I could have predicted anything with certainty at the end of September, it was that October would be an eventful month.

After returning to Canada this past Fall, I was swamped: lots of projects, new business, meetings, numerous road trips to see family, moving into a new home, and generally getting settled. In fact, as I looked back over my calendar for the month of October, there was only *one* day where I had nothing major scheduled.

Clearly, I’ve had many commitments, projects, and to-dos but I intended to use my October challenge to combat the hamster wheel of “busyness” …you can stress yourself out by being disorganized in the way that you cross those super important to-dos off your ever-growing list.

I’d heard about this new method of journaling that is effective in keeping the doer focused on important tasks while ensuring the important tasks don’t slip through the cracks.

Bullet Journal Index Page
[Photo: Courtesy of The Bullet Journal]  

The Bullet Journal requires the doer to focus on tasks by rapidly logging them according to an index and key to keep organized in a way the doer understands.

I didn’t implement this new, analog system this month, as intended. Instead, I kept to my top digital companions: my Google calendar notifications, synced between my laptop and phone.

Unfortunately, I am painfully aware of some important to-dos that have been pushed back and still not completed. I think that had I implemented this system (I’m super partial to using my agenda  and taking notes by hand, anyway) at the beginning of the month, I would have been more productive in a way that would have been more meaningful to me and other, overarching goals I intend to accomplish.

I’d noticed by mid-month that the days were flying by and I had not yet started what, I assumed, would take my productivity levels to new highs. In fact, I used my hardcover agenda far less this month than I had in September, instead favouring the digital reminders and convenience my devices afforded me while on the go (phone constantly buzzing and travel mug full of my fourth piping hot coffee of the day) or eyeballs-deep in assignments at my desk.

I’ve found that, for me, a purely analog approach to productivity is simply not the silver bullet that I wanted it to be when comes to productivity hacks. While I typically use my agenda heavily and was initially highly enthusiastic about trying out a new method, in the end, convenience won out. I rely on the digital reminders and 30-minute alerts to ensure that I’m never late for a meeting, event or deadline.

For the time being, my strategy will continue to employ a hybrid of analog and digital tools to keep me focused, productive, and efficient. Well, that, plus a healthy stream of coffee to keep me energized as I tick task after task off my list 😉

How to you stay productive and focused?

Let us know in the comments below or on our Insta, Twitter or Facebook!


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