In Zen to Done (ZTD), Leo Babauta recommends working on one positive new habit at a time. He further recommends adopting the habits in the order presented in the book and warns that the temptation is to follow the advice of most similar systems and attempt a dozen new habits all at once.
Since I have none of the positive habits recommended in ZTD or in David Allen’s “Getting Things Done,” which I’ve been re-implementing for nearly a decade, I decided to follow Babauta’s advice to the letter, with on exception: I use a digital notebook.
So far, so good.
Electronic vs. Paper Notebook
I use Jott instead of dead tree for jotting down the ideas and tasks that come into my world throughout the day. With my cell phone, I can create voice tasks that Jott transcribes and forwards to my Outlook task list or calendar. I find it much easier to carry my tiny Nokia Xpress Music phone than to carry paper. And I’m too lazy to enter my notes into my organizer.
My First Two Days
I began noting everything about 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday. So far, I have gotten all new tasks and ideas into Jott within an hour. That’s not good enough, but it’s better than leaving them in my head until I (might) remember them.
The biggest problem I’ve faced is the tendency to invent new things to Jott. I find myself scanning my mind and the horizon for things I should be writing down. That’s painful because one of the benefits of the system (and GTD) is to free our minds from the clutter that builds up when we try to manage everything in our biological RAM. I hope this problem resolves itself. According to GTD author David Allen, it takes some time before we learn to trust our lists.
This might be a boring topic for most of my readers, so I’ll balance my desire to relate my progress with your desire to read political yelling. I’ll try to update every 2-3 days. If you’re using the ZTD system, I’d love to hear from you, too.