Get a Better Night’s Sleep – The Low Tech Way

It seems these days that no matter our livelihood or marital status, we are all faced with more things to remember and manage than are humanly possible in any 24-hour period. So whether you are a busy professional, mom, dad, student, or entrepreneur, time management skills are absolutely essential. Of course, technology abounds to help us track and manage all the events, deadlines and occasions to celebrate, but for those of us who find the high tech price tag prohibitive or just aren’t “into” high tech, the overload of things to remember can cause many a sleepless night.
 
Time to go low tech. Ballpoint pen: $2.59. Spiral-bound college-rule notebook: $1.29. Peace of mind: Priceless.
 
My work and personal life, assignments, research, calls, phone numbers, virtually everything that occurs at my desk, is written into the notebook that is always open with a pen next to it. When I fill one, it’s set aside, and a fresh one takes its place. The first thing I write into it every morning is the date. What happens after that is life transcribed: Phone calls received, notes from conversations, phone numbers to remember, due dates, milestones, deadlines. Some pages are chaotic, filled to the edges, doodled with odd shapes and curves, nonsensical to anyone but me. Others are less hurried, the handwriting more legible, the sentences more complete. After all these years, it’s become a reflex. If I have the phone in one hand, a pen is in the other. A month from now, no matter what I might be questioning or looking for, I will find the answer in my notebook.
 
Even my trusty notebook, however, cannot keep me from tossing and turning when the list of responsibilities grows and the priorities begin to overlap.  
 
So before I walk away from the computer for the night, I turn to a fresh page, give it tomorrow’s date, and write my to-do list. This simple ritual gives me peace of mind that no PDA or appointment management software can provide. Whether it’s the mental exercise of contemplating each item, the physical act of putting pen to pad, or simply the few minutes of peace and quiet before retiring for the night, it works. I haven’t forgotten anything. It’s all right there, and it will be on page one when I sit down at my desk in the morning.
 
Technology can fail. The power can go out. DSL can go down.  My notebook will be waiting for me… after a good night’s sleep.