If we work out, shut up and make lots of lists we will find success.
I’m not sure that formula works, but my sister swears by it and she has become quite efficient so it may be worth a try.
Her actual advice was to exercise for half an hour, sit in silence for ten minutes and make a list of all the things we want to do the next day before going to bed.
It sounds simple, but she also says for the system to work, we need do those things every day and I know that would be difficult.
She started doing those things about a year ago after hearing the author of a self-help book interviewed on the radio.
She can’t remember the guy’s name because she didn’t carry a pad and pen at the time, but she does now and she says writing things down has helped her remember things and get more done each day.
She also says she feels great every time she ticks something off her list.
I’m convinced physical exercise helps our minds work better and I know I need a bit of silence every day to help me be aware of my own thoughts and feelings, so I’m happy to try to do those things every day, but I’m not a great fan of writing things down.
That probably sounds strange coming from a writer, but I believe it is a result of covering meetings and news events in the days before reporters carried tape recorders.
I composed my stories from the notes I wrote, but I found writing got in the way of listening and I was always afraid I’d missed something important while I was taking notes.
I’d much rather listen with my full attention and then write from memory, but that system didn’t work very well for stories that required direct quotes.
I suppose that’s why I am far more comfortable writing this column than I ever was reporting the news.
In this format, I may even get away with not knowing the name of the author who recommended exercise, silence and lists.
That would not have happened in my reporting and sub-editing days.
The thing is, I suspect even my column might now benefit from the use of lists. You see my memory is slipping and almost every writing session starts with me trying to remember at least one of the story ideas I’d had during the week.
So, I’ve decided to carry a pad and pen and write down ideas when I have them.
I also wrote out a list last night for what I wanted to do today.
The first item was get some exercise and I have already done that and checked it off, and you know what? It was quite nice.
I’m also getting close to putting a tick next to the ‘write a column’ entry, and before I go to bed I’ll write and then tick off ‘make another list.’
That leaves me with the silence thing.
I guess that means it’s time for me to say good-bye and shut up.