Hey, you! Yes, you.
Put down that productivity app. Stop clocking your ride and tracking your delivery and otherwise being a hostage to time.
Yes, I know it’s just past January, peak guilting month for hustling to be superhuman.
The term “productivity” in the App Store yields zillions of results. Simultaneously, the app “Calm” recently earned a $1 billion valuation.
Do you see the conflict here?
Pulled between the siren call of self-improvement and the zen sound bath inviting us to peace out, we’re in a bit of a quandary.
I think I’ve found a middle ground. And it’s a small thing that anyone can do, right now, without spending a dime.
Even the term sounds at odds with itself. Bullets are decisive and singular. Journaling is lyric and leisurely. That’s what I love about smashing them together.
This is about capturing a big emotional essence in just a few words. It’s the antidote to a do-more world, asking us to crystallize our day into just a few sentences.
Every night I capture what I did that day in a paper calendar. For the young folks here, a “calendar” is a listing of dates in a book made out of trees. I use a pen, which is like typing with a paintbrush.
Each day is represented with a 3 inch by 3 inch square. I like the brevity, the symmetry, the consistency. It honors that every day must yield to the same constraints. 24 hours. Not a second more.
I jot down what I did that day in a list form. Most lists are things TO BE DONE. These are things ALREADY DONE.
And therein lies the magic.
I’m chronicling my life in a format usually reserved for the future – lists. The purpose is to capture the day. This happened. That happened. No judgment. No score. No follow-up tasks assigned.
Just an accounting of the 24 hours that are expiring as you drift off to sleep. A receipt for how you just spent your time.
Something about this practice is deeply soothing. It’s like putting a period at the end of the sentence that is each day. And releasing it up like a gift to the time Gods.