Why You Need to Track Your Days

This week, my latest book, The Better Life: Small Things You Can Do Right Where You Are, came out.

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The book is a memoir in stories, urging you to live a better life by doing such big-little-hard-easy things as: Say yes, Say no, Quit something, Take your mornings seriously, Make your weekends count, Write more, Worry less, and many more.

Here’s an excerpt from one section…

Why You Need to Track Your Days

The concept of evaluating your days is not new. Many productivity gurus tout its wisdom, and emphasize its place in our lives. It works because it makes sense. It’s a small thing you can do that makes a big difference.

If we don’t have a goal, we’ll never get where we want to go. And if we don’t stop and evaluate where we are, we’ll never know if we’re there.

In the spirit of small life hacks that make a big difference, I can’t stress enough the importance of looking back and asking:

What was the best thing I did today?

You might be intrigued, and surprised, by some of the answers. Yes, it might be the obvious: “When I ate chocolate ice cream,” or “When I watched the game.”

But it might also be something more unexpected. “When I read for five minutes in the waiting room,” or “When I was running and it started raining,” or “When I played with my daughter when she woke up at three a.m..” Whatever it is, this question aims to help you figure out if you can do more of that thing in order to make every day better.

Now, I don’t stop there, and I typically go further to ask another question:

What was the best thing I did last week?

And,

What was the best thing I did last month?

If you ask yourself these simple questions, you’re bound to find out some unexpected, and illuminating things about yourself and the ways you spend your time. Most important, you’ll see some guideposts to how you should be better spending your time in the future. I’m a fan for doing this with great regularity, and what I find most amazing about this practice is that it isn’t hard or scientific, but it is immediately rewarding.

By simply looking at a week’s worth of days tracked, I can see what it is that I like doing most, and what I should be doing more of. By expanding that – and looking at a whole month’s worth – I learn even more. How am I really spending my days and how to I want to be spending them better?

Simple tracking can lead to simple changes.

Get the Book

I’d love for you to pick up my new book, and here are some incentives to get you to do just that:

Order it Today, Get Free Stuff

If you order this week, I’ll give you a truckload of ebooks to read. All free. After you place your order at one of your favorite retailers, send in your receipt to thebetterlifebook(at)gmail.com, and we’ll send you a link to all the ebooks.

Leave an Amazon Review, Win $50

Leave an Amazon review today, and you’ll be entered to win a $50 Amazon gift card. (Comment on this post telling us you did!)

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4 thoughts on “Why You Need to Track Your Days

  1. This is a great post and something that we should all be doing more of. I think it puts everything in perspective for us. Sometimes we get so overwhelmed with everything we have going on that we don’t realize the good things we have. Tracking our days allows us to spend a few minutes each day focusing on what is important to us and put aside those things that don’t really matter.

  2. Yes. I have been recording my daily activities for decades and find it very helpful in keeping life details in perspective.
    Where it becomes really obvious is when you apply this habit to your finances. I put the records in Evernote so that it is easy to get detailed overview on the first of each month in one view.
    Making it easy to look at my expenses, reveals what was really necessary and what is just another leak in the reserves.
    Paying attention to one’s own life is vastly more rewarding than “what is trending”.

  3. This really spoke to me. I’ve been trying to be more aware of doing 1 thing a day to “improve” or move forward. One thing, any thing as long as it makes me feel positive. But I missed the one crucial step – write it down. Doh! Reaching for a notebook to start right now…
    Good luck with the book! I’ll definitely check it out!