Hello everybody, my name is Dustin Harris and I am an addict. The nature of my addiction? Post-it notes. I’ve tried and I’ve tried and I just can’t kick the habit. I need your help.
Okay, so that might be a little dramatic… but I’m only half-joking! I do genuinely have an obsession with post-it notes and I really want to get over it.
Regular readers will probably be a little confused right now. After all, I’m a massive advocate for technology. You’ve all read me talking before about the “Three-Legged Stool” approach to business, in which one of the legs is technology. You’ve read me saying that spending money on good technology is an investment in your business, rather than an expense. You’ve read me praising the paperless approach to a business – there are so many apps nowadays, on both your computer and your phone, that it’s actually a pretty easy thing to do.
Post-it notes are not the height of modern technology. They are also, obviously, made of paper. So why on earth do I use them? Well, believe it or not, post-it notes are actually one of my main productivity drivers. You see folks, I am an extremely tidy person, both at home and at the office. I absolutely hate mess and – in the case of post-it notes – I use this to my advantage.
Every time I have an idea – whether it’s a task I need to take care of, or something I might want to implement in my business – I write it down on a note and stick it somewhere. That could be in my car, on my desk, on my computer, or anywhere else where I have to look at it. Given that I hate mess, I can’t stand to look at that pesky note for longer than a day or two before I just need to get the task done. I finish it whenever I get a spare moment, usually between other tasks. When it’s completed, I can take that post-it note, scrunch it up, toss it into the nearest waste paper basket and feel pretty good about myself.
This also serves as a good way to automatically judge the priority of something. As I said, I try to get every task done within a day or two, simply so that I can get rid of the post-it note. If I notice that one’s been hanging around for longer than that… well, it means it’s probably going to take longer than a few “between-tasks” minutes to complete; it’s going to require my full attention and probably needs to be put on the back-burner until I can afford to focus on it properly.
I know this is a crazy system and it definitely goes against a couple of my main principles. The problem is that it’s so darned effective! I want to change though and I need your help to do so. I’ve tried various apps that have reminder functions and it’s just not the same – one problem, for instance, is that I might not be between tasks when that reminder that I set several hours ago happens to pop up. I need something better than that.
I want to break this cycle of post-it note addiction. If you have any suggestions for how I can do so, then please – please – leave them in the comments below.
For more information on this subject, please download and listen to The Appraiser Coach Podcast Episode 088 – Behold the Post-it Note