Things they didn't teach you

Write everything down

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3. Write everything down

One of the biggest challenges of staying organised is to remember what you need to do next and not forgetting what you had to do today, tomorrow or next week.

When we forget something frustration kicks in and the blame game begins.

We all have imperfect memories, even those gifted with a good memory will recall things at different times, different speeds. We all recall things from a individual perspective that will be different to others.

The third memory

Take the burden of your memory and start by using a filing system. A system if followed will prevent anything from being missed. In my teen years at Christmas I was usually given a diary, I still have many of them in old boxes and most have my name pencilled in and f lucky some notes on what I am doing that week. The rest of the 364 pages are blank. The reason because I did not have a system to use the books, I am going to share that system right now.

As we get older the information flow we are faced with on a daily basis is of a level that would over power the computers of the Apollo Moon Landings. The system I am about to share with you will work on the basic principle of

File, Evaluate, Process

Remember lessons discussed in Building Routines, we are very good at attaching wheels to hubs, not measuring threads to wheels to hubs. Make life simple for yourself. A filing system is simply and unconditionally taking something that is addressed to you or concerns you into a filing system, unconditionally. Do not question what to do with it, simply add it to the file.

Evaluate your filing repository

Here is the fun part, the process of sorting through your filing cabinet into buckets. Sorting by importance is the standard method to adopt, the importance of something to be done rises as the time it has to be done by gets closer. Remember something that has to be done without a deadline is nothing more than a dream or nice to have. Get in the habit of understanding when something needs to be done by, without this information you will find it difficult to evaluate its importance.

The Outcome of Evaluate is to Eliminate noise by discarding or filing in buckets for action. Your action buckets could simply be date driven or if you are lucky enough to have allot on in your life you could have buckets that segment school, home, hobby, friends and sub categorise those in terms of date deliverables


Doing the task is the crucial part of any system. There are many barriers in the way, some we have touched on in how to overcome procrastination. The best system in the world will fail if you do not actually sit down at the required time and do the task. In life everything has a consequence, missed deadlines builds frustration in yourself and others. What they do not teach you in school, is that the consequence in later life is simple, your not picked to do something because your reputation to deliver is questionable. We live in a competitive global world, one persons misfortune is another persons gain.

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