One of the best things I’ve enjoyed over the last few months is using a whiteboard. Sure, it feels like a bit of a throwback to high school math class. But, I’ve adapted it to be something that’s benefited me a lot recently.
The bulk of it is in calendar form, with a column to the side that’s available for keeping notes. It’s quite a simple setup, but has allowed me to achieve a greater sense of organization and priority in my daily activities.
On the first of each month, I’ll set up the dates and get straight into keeping some general notes on things that need to be done for the month. This could include a list of things, from getting my car sold (which I finally just got done!!), to booking places to stay for upcoming travels, to getting my taxes filed, and general “to-do” type items.
Where my whiteboard really starts to take more shape is when it comes to goal setting. I borrow a technique that I got from my dad as a child, to set daily, weekly and monthly goals for the course of a month.
My daily routine of goals always includes praying and spiritual reading, so as to maintain a great worship routine. It really helps to set a calm for the day and gives me something positive to reflect on as I go about it. For each day that I accomplish this, I have a color-coded green checkmark to mark off each day that it’s done.
My weekly routine taps even more into my physical health and well-being. My goal is to exercise five times a week. So each day I do this, I mark this on my calendar in blue. Instead of a checkmark, though, I’ll mark with a letter code what part of the body I worked out that day. Perhaps I’ll write a blue C for chest, or a blue L for legs. It helps me to visualize the rotation of my workout routine, to make sure I’m maintaining a balance and a good sense of regularity. I also allot myself two days to “cheat” on my eating, as indicated by a red X. Now, this is definitely something I need to reel in! I mean, who can deny that food is great, and the temptations are strong, haha. Getting to two “cheat days” or less would be great. But it’s a work in progress.
I also added regular reading of the news to my weekly routine. I felt like over previous years, I’d been too out of touch with events going on around the world. I didn’t like having to pretend I knew what was going on when people would bring up important news events. So I started a folder in my phone dedicated to news apps and have remained regular with reading the news multiple times each week.
My monthly goals I look at in a more long-terms sense. These are things I want to take my time with working on and take the time period of 30 days to make sure these things get done. It might be certain books or magazines that I want to have read before the month ends. I may also include practicing meal prep and fitness plan research on my list of monthly goals, so that the following month, I could have those more in line for my health.
The whiteboard has had plenty of benefits. Here are a few:
- Sticking to what I set out to do. Visualizing those goals helps so much with keeping them in mind. As I continue to read them and reflect on them, it helps me to feel more inclined to carry out what I’ve set for myself.
- A personal sense of accomplishment. Getting those positive checkmarks on each day is so motivating. I have the whiteboard hung in a prominent area of my room that I would look at every day, so this helps me to see my progress as it goes along. I want those positive checks to be there. I want to see how few red X’s I have to put. It makes me feel accomplished to keep track of things this way.
- Help with staying more organized. I’m able to have a greater sense of organization using this technique. Sure, there are things I know I need to get done over a month, but writing them out helps me keep more organized. I keep track of my volunteer work hours and activity on my whiteboard. I keep lists on it. I may make quick notes about certain things I want to get done on a day for quick reference.
- It helps me to motivate others. I’ve been big on talking up the value of my whiteboard. It’s been cool seeing other friends get into it as I’ve raved to them about how much it’s helped me. If something that benefits me can have a positive effect on my friends, then I’m all about it!
Bottom line? Stay organized! Set goals and prioritize them. Make them challenging, yet attainable. Keep track of your progress and work on continuing to improve.
And using a whiteboard has been a great way for me to do all the above and more.