Since a few people were asking me to explain this system, and it would be too difficult to explain in a comment on Instagram, I decided to make this my first blog post. Yay!
Do It Tomorrow is a book and time management system devised by Mark Forster. I’ve adapted some parts of it for my personal use. It’s been very helpful in countering procrastination, which I’d say is my main obstacle to getting things done.
I’ll explain my adapted system here. If you want to read up on the full system, the book is sold on Amazon UK. 🙂
The system calls for a day-per-page diary. Since I’m using a Bullet Journal (and only a Bullet Journal), I made my Daily Log into day-per-page. Fortunately, this is the only layout change I had to make.
Picture of my day-per-page setup (above).
Now, the system. First, I put all of my existing tasks into a collection called “Backlog.” Second, I assign a Current Initiative to my day. This is something you must work on a little each day until completion. My Current Initiative is “Clear Backlog.”
I go about my day. When a task comes up during the day, I commit to doing it tomorrow. I write it on tomorrow’s Daily Log page. The only things I do today are URGENT things that cannot be put off until tomorrow, and my Current Initiative. I do this process the rest of the day.
Day 2: Today’s list contains all the things I committed to doing today (from yesterday). I draw a line under all of these items, closing the list. This is not my To Do List. This is my Will Do List. I pledge to do whatever it takes to complete it. Anything new that comes up goes on tomorrow’s page. Urgent items go on today’s page, underneath the line. My Current Initiative today is still “Clear Backlog,” as it will be until my Backlog is empty. I’ll work on it a little bit each day until then.
The reasons this helps me fight procrastination are these. First, saying “I’ll do it tomorrow” gives me time to mentally prepare for the task. Usually when I say those words I do not mentally prepare because I know deep down… I’m not doing it tomorrow. But this time, I’ve made a commitment to do it tomorrow. So I shall. And I will be ready because I had a day to prepare.
Second, closing the list gives me a finite amount of tasks to work with. An open list, like a regular To Do list, continues to expand during the day. You don’t really get a sense of the list getting smaller as you complete items. In a Closed List, every task finished brings you closer and closer to done for the day.
So there you have it. Backlog, Closed List, Current Initiative, commit to do everything tomorrow. A simple and effective system.
If you want to know more about Mark Forster’s systems, which he has a lot of, you can visit his blog: http://markforster.squarespace.com