MySystem of getting (and staying) organized: What to fix?

I know that I need to improve how I stay organized and productive in my work and personal life. My current system is just not serving me well, and I feel the repercussions of its shortcomings in all areas of my life. Usually the need for improvement makes itself apparent at a time when I can dedicate the least amount of time to developing it: when I am most busy, most frustrated by my lack of organisation, and most tired. Any decisions made under such conditions will be rash, poorly thought out, overly ambitious.

And so here I am with that well known deja vu feeling. The end of the year is here, and I find myself once again promising myself that in this downtime of late December (when all work in South Africa comes to a standstill) I will find a system of productivity that will serve me reliably in 2021. It is, after all, the best and quietest time to do this.

Since I have more time and less pressure to do other things, I have spent a considerable amount of time analysing where I keep going wrong in my quest to get organised. I now realise that in the past I started from the wrong end of the problem. I would find a tool, and I would try to adapt my lifestyle (or workstyle) to fit the tool. Or I would try to mimic someone else’s process. These are  mistakes. Yes, of course I can change my workflow, and I can introduce healthy productivity habits, but these should be gradual, organic processes. Expecting myself to completely change the way I work, or read, or curate information on Day One of a new MySystem is unrealistic, and just leads to endless frustration, and ultimate abandonment of that MySystem. I’m not making that mistake again.

So my  first step was to figure out what my actual problems are, and translate those problems into goals. I took pen and paper (literally) and started jotting down all the “problems” in my life I wanted to fix. Things like:
– I can never find an article I read two weeks ago but need to reference today
– I am always searching for the same document over and over again (like my proof of residence, for example)
– I don’t know what digital assets I own (vector images, stock images, fonts, icons, elements, plugins, themes etc)
– I can’t remember 10% of what I read etc etc. 
It was very quickly apparent that although all aspects of my life have definite room for improvement, the part that very clearly required the most attention is how I curate, collate and retrieve information. If I can nail that over the next week or two, I think I will have a far more productive and smoother 2021.

After much research, the MySystem 2021 Stack will start off with:
– Google Drive and the xxx system
– Evernote
– Readwise

Photo by nikko macaspac on Unsplash

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