One of my unexpected surprises with this blog is the spread of my little old Daily Docket. It makes my day that so many of you have written to tell me you use this simple tool to manage your day. And it thrills me when you tell me in person, and go out of your way to show me your Docket! Truly – I’m so glad my tool works for so many of you as well.
The number one request for an addition to the Docket is a smaller size. I hear you. Even though I print my Dockets two-sided, I still don’t like using that much paper – seems so… anti-Simple Mom. So I’ve created a scaled-down version of the original Daily Docket, fitting on half a standard US-letter page. Now you can print four to a page – two front and back.
This doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of the original Docket, because there just isn’t enough room. Call it the Daily Docket Nano – it still has the basic framework of a full-sized Docket, just taking up less room.
Here’s what you’ll find:
1. What’s for dinner? This is still at the very top of the page, because it forces me have a plan for that evening by the morning I fill out the Docket (and many times, I fill it out the night before).
2. Today’s To-Do List. There’s still a max of ten items on my checklist, which helps me keep it to only what’s realistically possible for one day (and who are we kidding – I very rarely check off all ten).
3. MITs. To the right of the To-Do List is a place to star any item that qualifies as a Most Important Thing. These are the things on which I should focus most my energy – if I get anything done today, it should be these. It’s really important to have a maximum of three MITs – too many, and they dilute themselves. You have to be selective about what qualifies as an MIT – if nothing else gets done, I’d say my day was a success if those three things happen.
4. Schedule and/or Appointments. This is the spot where you can jot down your tasks that have a time framework – a doctor’s appointment, meeting a friend for coffee, or even a set time when you want to exercise. Whatever needs to have a set time assigned to it, you can scribble it here. You might remember that at one time I tried to schedule my entire day, in the name of staying disciplined and being productive. It did the opposite.
5. Notes. The bottom still has a place to doodle your thoughts, ideas for tomorrow, phone numbers, or whatever else doesn’t fit in the framework of a to-do list or an appointment. This is where your right brain can roam freely.
If you like having place to write Scripture or something else meaningful to you, a reminder for your exercise and water intake, a mini-checklist for your side work (like if you work part-time, or if you blog), or if you generally prefer having more of a timed schedule, then the original Daily Docket is for you. It’s still available free for download!
The important thing as a home manager is to do what works for you. Don’t put false pressure on yourself to fit a mold of ultimate productivity, as though there’s a specific definition to “a woman who gets a lot done.” Find your rhythm, stay flexible for those curve balls thrown at you all day (kiddos waking up sick, anyone?), and focus on only those things that really matter. That’s when the concept of MITs come in handy.
You are the best person to be Mom to your kids. No one else can be the partner to your spouse like you. And the tasks that go with those significant hats you wear – well, I for one believe that if God’s called you to do those things, He’ll give you the ability to do them.
And if you like having a tool to keep you motivated and on track, then perhaps the Daily Docket or the Daily Docket Nano* would work for you. Just go with whatever works.
*I really need to come up with a better name for that.
What’s on your short list for the ultimate productivity tool that works for your life?