Bad Girl, Good Business

The 100 Years Club Installment #18: Balance is in the (2) Cards

Reading Time: 2 minutes

“How do you get so much done?” I often get asked.

One answer is that I’ve been doing stuff for a REALLY long time, so I’m super organized, fast, focused, and experienced.

Aging has many advantages.

The second (and more recent) one involves taking a page (or should I say a card?) from my late mother’s philosophy:

“If you want me to remember it, write it down!”

Turns out Cynthia Shenker could have been an awesome management consultant and efficiency expert.

First, I created a mini vision board for June, outlining my high-level priorities and goals.


I took it one step further and invested in spiral-bound neon index cards.

The spiral ones are cool because I can travel with them, and I get a weird childlike pleasure when I separate them at the perforated line.

I live a mostly paper-free life, but I recently started this new system to replace my daily to-do lists. My work surface is otherwise white and sterile, so the cards constantly remind me of balance.

  • The green card (as in $$) has my work-related to-dos for the day.
  • The other card (pink, orange, or some other annoyingly bright and cheery color) is for “fun” stuff and self-care.

By the end of the day, all items on both cards have been checked-off.

I never put more items on each card than I could humanly accomplish, allowing room and time for those last-minute emergencies, can’t-miss time-sensitive opportunities,and detracting but necessary things that crop up.

Most important, however, is that I need to have at least a couple of items on the “fun card.”

A reformed workaholic, I am trying to build more sloth, downtime, and entertainment into my life. It could be as simple as going to the gym, reading a book chapter, or getting a mani-pedi.

I do simple things like going to sleep and waking up early, and keeping meetings short to create more hours in the day.

Now, I just need a voice-activated AI to go along with the cards and whisper to me when I’m not having enough fun.

But that’s another topic — the balance between humanity and automation. If you subscribe, you can read about that in my next post!



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