We all have goals in our lives, some small and some large. If you have been reading my previous posts you will know my current goal is to write a blog post every single day.
Achieving my goals has been, and still is, a struggle. It’s hard to pinpoint what the exactly causes are, but my tendency for procrastination and not taking responsibility are certainly part of the equation. I have tried, and researched, many ways to improve my focus and having visual reminders is one of the things that actually helped me a lot. For me it all comes down to giving priority and I often mismanaged my priorities causing my goals to remain on my today list at the end of the day.
Having visual reminders is a great way to hijack your priority system. By placing visual cues on strategic places you visit throughout the day you will be triggered into re-evaluating your priorities i.e. why aren’t I working on this now? Your brain will notice any change in the environment, so the visual cue can be anything you want as long as it’s new.
My discovery of visual reminders started when I cleaned up and decided to put my Arduino, which was gathering dust for months, on my dresser. I had started a project to determine the air quality in my room, but never make any real progress. Having the Arduino on my dresser serves as a daily reminder of the project. I am happy to say that this resulted in some real progress.
Instead of saying “I don’t have time” try saying “it’s not a priority,” and see how that feels.
For my writing challenge I decided to use a “chain” calendar. I placed it next to my computer monitor so that every time I sit down behind my computer, and that happens a lot, I will be reminded of my challenge. You can find the calendar I used online. I might make my own in the future, but I don't want to overwhelm myself with to many projects.
A final word of warning about the use of visual cues, they only work temporary. You, or rather your brain, will get used to the visual cues, so keep changing them up every now and then so they stay fresh and top of mind. They really work great when starting a new project as you are still trying to create a habit.