We’ve started dedicating Monday mornings to a single tip or simple idea to get your week off to a better start. This week it’s my turn! -Sarah
Are you a pen-and-paper planner or a digital listmaker? As I’ve shared here before, I am a bit of both
. I love the convenience of “the cloud” when it comes to managing work, home and family life in a streamlined way, but I also cling fiercely to a good old fashioned list.
(There’s nothing that helps sort out a jumbled brain full of tasks and to-do’s like the physical act of writing them down, right?)
But the reality of life in 2014 is, of course, that much of what crosses my desk never actually, um, crosses any desk at all. It pings in with a little notification sound by text or email. It lives online in a shared Google Doc. It hides behind the green Evernote app icon. It unfolds in a Facebook conversation thread. It streams through the speakers in my minivan, which connect via bluetooth to my phone. We live in crazy times, don’t we?
It’s all well and good until the going gets tough. I have my own little systems for staying organized by turning an email into a reminder, or capturing a thought digitally while I’m driving my car. I live by the search function in my email, which allows me to quickly look up that thing Meagan and I were discussing last week that I might have forgotten about. And while it does help to write out a to-do list to get focused for the day or the week, I find that in times where I’ve got a LOT on my plate, there’s only one way to get my brain out of the cloud(s) and onto firm ground where I can begin to make sense of it all.
I start printing stuff out.
Printing a hard copy of something that I usually interact with on a screen has a calming effect. If I can hold it in my hands, mark it up with a pen, and leave it out in plain view on the counter or pin it up on a bulletin board, it seems somehow tackle-able.
So during overwhelming times, I print. I print project lists for work, emails from the kids’ schools, and hard copies of my digital calendar. It’s all stuff I can access easily online from multiple devices, but when I feel my digital brain starting to overheat, the hard copies help it seem more manageable.
If your home and work life happen largely online or on-screen and you’re feeling stressed, why not give this a try this week? Here are a handful of ideas of things to print: [click to continue…]