In all sincerity, we want to obey our dentist and change our toothbrush every three months, but very soon we lose track. The brush does not show any signs of wear, so we just go on with it till when we finally change and then get reminded about how a true brush actually feels!

There are several such activities that we want to do at certain intervals, like, you may wish to post on LinkedIn every seven days. And then there is a haircut, checking the air pressure in car tires, networking, and so on…

What is special about these activities is that they don’t fall on a certain day of the week or day of the month and the periodicity is longer. That makes them very forgettable!

A well-maintained Day Timer system can help you to stay on top of these. Timers are not new. You see them in the kitchen; you use them in the Pomodoro technique. A thriller show worth its salt will always have a timer scene (and potboilers will additionally have green wire/red wire clipping scene). But what we need here is a timer that counts days and not minutes. Here is my idea for such a timer system:

  1. Use one of the existing workbooks that you use every day and add a worksheet for timers.
  2. Set all the timers that you need, with one activity in a row. You need columns for name, frequency, the date when the activity was done last, and the difference in the number of days between today’s date and the day of the last activity.
  3. Conditionally format the difference column, so that it fills the cell with, say, amber color when the difference is greater than the frequency.
  4. The timer will go off when it crosses the frequency set by you and the cell will turn amber. You know then that you have an action.
  5. Once you do that activity, reset the date and the timer will start counting again from the start.
  6. The timer will continue showing you the number of days elapsed, even after it has gone off or is yet to go off, so you always have that information to look up.
  7. Set a ritual of looking at your timers every day – possibly as one of your morning rituals.

Do you want a ready-made template? Send a quick mail to me with Timer in the subject and I will send it to you.

That’s all to it! Get creative and have pride in staying consistent with all those practices that you care about!

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(Photo by cottonbro from Pexels)