Have you ever used Things (no it is not a digital day planner, it’s a task management app)? It is the best. No other app makes it easier to quickly add a task and necessary related details (when it is due, what category, etc.) using whatever device is currently most convenient.
So why is that such a big deal?
Our mental capacity is a limited resource. I do not want to clutter up precious mental resources remembering all that I need to do, and when. Hopefully you have experienced the freeing exercise of taking something out of your mind by writing it down somewhere, allowing you to focus on what matters.
Great, problem solved. Let’s all go home now.
A little while back I started noticing that mental stress of keeping things in my mind. My morning thoughts were still divided among the different initiatives I had for each day. I had all my tasks sorted out, but I started to realize that I was stressed as I did not know how many tasks I could, or had to, get done in a day. How many things can I expect to check off my list today?
Imagine you are on a cross country road trip, you know all the turns you need to take to get somewhere, but have no idea how much time you have to drive, or gas/battery available.
Similarly, it helps at the start of the day to organize and visualize what you want to accomplish. Having a clear picture of what you are capable of and where you want to go allows you to have that peace of mind. It allows you to release unnecessary thoughts and questions that are taxing your mental resources.
So I started creating a sort of digital day planner every day, before the day started. I’d look at what I already committed to and put that down. Then I’d consider what are the actions I need to take every day that will drive to my goals, and I’d fit them in. Then I’d continue filling up my calendar day by adding what was the next most important initiative.
Often it would help to consider that I’m more focused and creative in the morning. This means that I can still do urgent tasks, but I could have peace of mind that they were budgeted into my day at a later time where they would not tax my creative energy.
This idea stuck with me and I continued to refine it. While it has been helpful to me, it is not for everyone. Many people do just fine using paper or even a calendar app. But for others, Hey Today is a powerful tool to help you budget your time and energy, building a great day, every day.