Keeping productive with a tiny zine

I’ve been having real problems focussing on doing stuff during the evenings this last year or so. It’s a real shame since I’ve spent the last ten years or so investing heavily in GTD and fancy tools in my computer to keep track of my projects, but all this goes out the window when I’m sitting down at 7pm after finishing up all those chores that comprise adulthood. In fact, my normal process is:

  1. Review tasks on the to-do list
  2. Get overwhelmed
  3. Watch youtube all night

Which isn’t the best way of dealing with the situation.

Given the smart solution (you know, the detailed GTD app which syncs between all my devices) wasn’t succeeding, it was clearly time to gin up a dumb solution. And because I’m still not over my infatuation with tiny zines made out of single pieces of paper, I figured that was the way to go:

Behold, the productivity zine. Those are checkboxes on the left.

With the cover and back page left blank, I have three spreads to dedicate one-to-a-week. That’s just under a month per book. The plan is:

Every Sunday to set up three goals for the coming week. Write in any appointments I know I have, and fill up the other evenings with one (and only one) task. Goals give me something to work towards, and by setting them up during the weekend I get a bit of perspective on the week ahead - planning when I’m out of the weeds, so I have a guide when I’m in them. Why three? Three’s a good number, that’s why.

During the week I’ll try to keep to this schedule. Only so much I can do here - if I’m completely shattered, there’s no amount of pep talk will get me onto my projects.

And the following Sunday I’ll check to see how I’m tracking against those goals.

We’re one week in so far, and I’m 2-for-3 on goals. It’s not 100%, but it ain’t bad.


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