Now I’m as susceptible as most people (if not more so!) to a pretty notepad or planner. I can spend hours in a stationery shop if you let me! But I also know that getting too carried away with how it looks both on the inside and out can seriously damage your productivity.
Spending too long searching for that perfect notepad can distract us from actually getting things done. We procrastinate and put off doing things in the belief that we’re searching for a tool that will make a fundamental difference to our business. But it won’t. And that goes for diaries and marketing planners and any other accessory that you can spend too long agonising over.
Don’t get me wrong, having something that looks good to you and possibly gives you some motivation and ideas is fantastic but ultimately it’s what you put inside it and what you do with those ideas that will make the difference to your business.
So here are a few thoughts on how to stop yourself from losing valuable time:
- Spend some time looking for what you need but don’t turn it into a marathon hunt and don’t overthink it.
- Know what works for you and buy accordingly (personally I prefer notebooks that are pre-divided to give myself a better chance of locating information and organising my notes; and my weekly plan is done on an Excel spreadsheet!). If it worked for you before it will work for you again.
- Once you’ve bought it – use it. There’s no point in buying something unless you intend to use it properly (it will be a waste of time and money!)
- Most importantly once you’ve written it down, action it! It’s no good planning in your diary if you don’t follow the plan; no point in filling in the boxes in your marketing planner if you don’t create the content to go with it and it’s no use writing notes if you’re not going to action them.
Notebooks and planners are essential tools to help you get structure and organisation into your business but don’t get sidetracked trying to find the perfect one. If you spend too long choosing them and don’t use them effectively you’ll stop being productive and defeat the object of buying it in the first place.