October 16, 2006

Automate It

Just over a month ago, I started using a goal-tracking web site called Joe's Goals. It's great for keeping track of daily and weekly (but not long-term) goals. You pick as many goals as you want and check them off whenever you meet them. Who would have guessed that the prospect of an unbroken line of green checkmarks could be so motivating? You can add notes each day and even share goals and progress with others for more accountability. I use the notes feature a lot but as for sharing, I'll just do it here.

One of my goals is to read the Bible and pray every day. Another is doing push-ups and sit-ups. My routine every morning is to wake up, start the coffee, do calisthenics, and open my Bible. By the time I've read a few verses, the coffee is ready and I can complete my devotions with a double rush of exercise and caffeine. There hasn't been a blank day for these two goals in quite a while.

Another goal is to clean my desk every day. I don't have a set time to do that. The last time I checked off that goal was September 22 (although since then I have a note that says "almost" and one that says "pile is smaller.") I take care of very important matters or anything with a looming deadline, but papers that just need filing or a "someday" decision can float around for weeks.

So what have I learned from this? Looking back over the past month, I generally succeed in meeting the goals that are an automatic part of my day and pretty lousy with the things I can do any time. Now I just need to find more ways of making things automatic for myself without turning into too much of a robot.

Any ideas?


  1. I like this post. I really would like to be more organized. I think that I slowly improve my organizational skills little by little.

    I guess I will take a peek at this recommendation.

    Recently, I have been thinking about the simple concept of planning the use of my time.

    In Japan it is natural for people to make plans for the whole year. Or have plans for the holidays.

    Planning the use of time is very foreign to me. I like to keep my calendar open just in case.

  2. Have you found a desk clearing system? If not, be encouraged, mine is hideous...it is probably 5 feet wide is completely covered..has been for months. fortunately, I have a door to close and leave it all behind.