WHAT THE COLORS MEAN:
Yellow highlights: There are a few tasks I will highlight in yellow before I go over them in orange. The yellow tells me something: this is a task you are planning to get done today. It helps me to see what takes priority on a Monday or a Thursday. It's a bit of a roadmap in a sea of tasks.
Orange highlights: Plain and simple, orange means completed. I get so much satisfaction out of getting to check something off the list.
WHAT GETS LISTED:
It's basic. There's no huge science to it. I only include what is necessary for that week and I do not allow myself to overflow into the next set of pages. My whole week exists on two pages and it allows me to believe I can conquer what is to come.
Tasks & projects: I write down all my work-based and personal tasks that are necessary enough to make the to-do list. I dump my brain out onto the pages of a bullet journal (yes, I am obsessed) and I get to it. Sometimes I miss things that needed to be added to the list but if the task is something that can happen the following week then I slot it away for next week's workload.
Where to be: I keep a running list of places where I need to be throughout the week. Mind you, I use a monthly calendar on a daily basis. I don't leave home without it. I am proud to say I am still functioning with a monthly paper planner in an iPhone world! This monthly planner is my roadmap for the week but the "where to be" section of my list preps me to show up for these events, meetings, and occasions.
If you introvert hard like me then it can seem like getting over a mountain just to jump on a phone meeting. The homebody inside of me wants to stay in my creative zone all day and talk to absolutely no one. Being able to highlight these meetings off my list upon completion helps me breathe knowing I showed up and made it happen when I wanted to stay in sweatpants all day.
Self-care: I can guarantee that no self-care would happen if I didn't add it to the bottom of my weekly lists. I list simple things like a workout, a study session with my Bible, and personal tasks that are good for my heart. Last week I challenged myself to mail two love letters to people in my life. This week I've been tracking all the foods I've been consuming to get extra protein into my diet.
I used to struggle with self-care because it seemed selfish to me. I now believe self-care is the opposite of being selfish. When you take care of yourself, you are able to take better care of others. By getting a workout in, studying my Bible in the morning, and checking a number of water bottles off my list, I can give people the best version of myself. Taking care of yourself matters. Don't be afraid to make it a priority.
A NOTE TO THE HUSTLERS WITH ANXIETY:
I feel you. And this productivity system of mine was largely created because of all the anxiety I deal with throughout a given week. Yes, I face anxiety but I refuse to let that anxiety hold me back from all this week has to offer me. What this system does, more than anything else, is give me a map. I need a map. Otherwise, I tread water. I fill the air with self-deprecating words about myself. I fail before I even begin.
I can honestly say that since beginning this system, my productivity has doubled. I've yet to have an unproductive workday with this list in front of me.