As I watched the Brett Kavanaugh hearings this past week, I couldn’t help but be impressed at his ability to produce calendars that told the story (in generalities) of what he was doing each day in June 1982.
As I listened to some of his testimony, he said that he picked up this habit from his dad who also used calendars to document what he planned to do and what he had done.
Honestly, I was glad to see this because I do the same thing. For years, have used various organizer systems to record my activities.
When I started this habit many years ago, I used a Franklin Planner (I am presently going back to using it). I used a pencil to write what I planned to do. After an event, I would use a pen to record what I had actually done.
Now, I use my Franklin Planner to plan my days. But, for the past couple of years, I have been recording what I have done with the Journey app.
So, when I get up, I will note what time I got up in my Journey app by creating a new day’s entry. Then, I will document what I do throughout the day. I will note the time, what I did (sometimes in generalities), who I was with (if it was a significant conversation or meeting), and any reflections I have throughout the day. In this way, I can look back on a day that took place years ago and tell you where I was, what I was doing, and who I was with … and what significant thoughts consumed my mind on that day. With my Journey app, I can even add pictures to each day’s entry.
For instance, my journal entry today shows that I got up at 5:16 AM, I spent time in God’s Word from 5:35 AM until 6:31 AM, and then went over this morning’s sermon from 6:31 AM until 7:59 AM. I recorded that I showed up to church at 8:54 AM and left at 12:07 PM. My journal entry for today also includes a bunch of other things I did including attending a practice for our upcoming Christmas musical, the evening service at church, and a hospital visit.
One thing that happened to me about 8-9 years ago that made me see the importance of recording my events occurred at a funeral. The adult child of the deceased was the angry type and she needed someone to take it out on. She justified her anger at me for supposedly not spending time with her mom before she died. Being sensitive to her grief but wanting her to realize that I had spent quite a bit of time with her mom before she passed, I did a search in my Palm Pilot and was able to compile a list of the days and times that I visited with her mom and even the days and times that I called her on the phone. The list revealed that I had given priority to her loved one … something I was only able to do because I had made it a practice to record what my day’s activities were. That incident made it clear to me how important it was.
I think it takes a certain personality type to be so meticulous as to record what you do each day. But, there may come a time when that information would be incredibly helpful. Especially if you are a leader, I would you encourage you to consider beginning this habit.