A couple of years ago I moved into a new role at work where I worked for three different people in three different areas of our building – one of which required a huge learning curve for me. Some days this worked fine. Many days it did not. A day at work would often fly by without me able to get to any of my own work or, worse yet, I often ended the day exhausted but without feeling like I’d actually done anything. After a few months I decided to begin tracking my day.
What I found was interesting but not entirely surprising – I was getting work done but because of the scattered nature of my work I couldn’t see the work I was doing or even remember doing it.
That’s when I started working on a solution. I continued journaling my work day and began reading about building better work habits. I’ve read at least a half-dozen books on the topic, as well as listened to podcasts, and followed lots of blog posts. One thing I’ve realized recently – thanks to Gretchen and Elizabeth on the Happier podcast – is that not everything should have a place. At first I thought she was just flipping the idea of putting everything away, which was part of podcast #17, but it was different.
Not putting everything away means that you need to assess what you have and determine what should stay and what should go. An item should not have a place if it doesn’t belong or isn’t something you should keep.
And that’s our challenge for December – keep a time journal in anticipation of building good habits in the new year because first you need to know what you need to keep before you can figure out what you can give up in order to have more time to do what you need.