Using a notebook

After Cam’s success with a Moleskine I’m going to have a go at doing all my capturing, projects and actions in a notebook and then using my T5 for calender, dated to-dos and digital reference material such as contact details and lecture notes.
I’m not yet ready to go out and specifically buy anything particularly pretty for the purpose because I’m not sure whether it will work yet so I’m using an A5 Spirax notebook I bought a while ago and never got around to using.

I have a tab 2/3 of the way though for the projects section of the notebook where I will have 1 or 2 pages per project where I can note down major milestones and next actions and the back couple of pages is for my someday/maybe list. The front section is simply for capture and I’ll put the weeks next actions on a large postit note inside the front cover.

The only thing I’m worried about is that I’ll get hopelessly behind on the whole process bit and won’t keep up to date on the weekly reviews. Productivity Buddy anyone??? Keeping in mind though that I’m shy (yes I know that everyone who met me at the TPN dinner will laugh at this because they have conveniently forgotten about the shy mousy girl at the beginning of the evening) so any correspondence will have to start with email until I’m confident enough to try skype.

Sources of Procrastination

  1. Stress. Sometimes when I get really stressed out I try to pretend the problem doesn’t exist.
  2. Inadequate preparation. Large tasks need to be broken down into smaller ones. If you don’t have all the information necessary to do something it won’t get done.
  3. Depression. Kinda obvious really. All that don’t care vibe doesn’t exactly help with productivity.
  4. ADD. Major problem for me. I think maybe the easiest solution is to get back on my meds and declutter my environment. Removing distractions always helps. For anyone who suspects they might have ADD try having 100mg (about a cup of coffee) of caffeine. Its roughly equivalent to 5mg (standard dose) of Ritalin so if this helps you stop procrastinating then ADD might be worth investigating.

I think some of the easier solutions would be to get some exercise or meditate. Discussing options with someone else can help you make decisions and get started on projects. Keep a log of what you actually spend your time doing and what you achieve – keeps you honest and can be good to refer back to. Work out what motivates you – everyone has something – and refer to it when you feel yourself falling behind. If you are one of those people who derive satisfaction from crossing things off lists then feel free to make those lists. Perhaps have a notebook with a couple of pages per project (depending on the size) and keep an updated list of every action associated with it.

Finally if you are just totally not in the mood to do anything. Try not to feel too guilty about it. There’s no point in doing nothing if you won’t enjoy it. Just don’t make a habit of it 🙂


Productivity is not one of my strong points.
I mean I *can* do it. But its haphazard at best, and when I get depressed its the first thing to go.

I recently read Getting Things Done and it all made sense to me, I’ve tried to implement the whole system thingy but that stuff isn’t really the hard bit for me.

I now have a series of really well organized to-do lists, organized by context and with actions rather than abstract titles. That’s all good. I’ve even made sure there is as little resistance as possible to do the tasks. I know where all my material is. I have little post-it notes on all the pages in the text book that contain uni work I have to do. I’ve got the problem numbers circled so I can do the questions even if I don’t have my tute sheet with me.

But that is all useless if you then sit with the book next to you, write a title at the top of the page, write the first question number and then… Sit and stare at the book. Completely unable to get ‘into’ doing the actual work. Its ridiculous because its not a laziness thing. I am happy to work really really hard at something. Its a mood thing and in certain moods I’m a complete write-off.

Any hints???