For visually oriented people, like me, an icon probably says more than 100 words. Writing in drawings is what first appealed to me in the Productivity Level Board approach. The principle was developed by The Boosted Journal.
Besides, I'm easily tempted to say that I didn't do much in a day.But feel like I've been busy all day or even experienced the day as hectic. What have I done then? Where have the hours been spent? That becomes clear with this Productivity Level Board. Do you want to gain insight into how you spend your energy? This is the article for you! And believe me, filling it out takes less than 2 minutes a day.
Table of contents
What is a productivity board
The original English term 'productivity level board', consists of 3 important words; productivity, level and board. It's a page, a spread, that you maintain so you can see how productive you are on a day.
It is made of squares, more about that later. You are going to fill these squares with icons that represent a certain activity. You can make up the icons yourself or use existing ones. You can read more about which ones I use in this article.
The 'board' gives you a compact overview of what you've done on a day. You can make it as detailed as you want. It's actually a visual approach to a habit tracker, but without any fixed subjects that you cross out, but you fill in the subjects as soon as you've done them. So afterwards.
By applying levels, you can motivate yourself to be productive. The more you accomplish in a day, the higher the level of productivity you achieve. Personally I don't use this part at the moment, because I don't need the motivation to do something, I need an overview of what I am doing. If you do need the well-known 'kick in the ass', then add the levels to the board.
By dividing your page into squares, a 'board' is created.
How does it work
Each square is reserved for an activity. This action will be displayed in the way that suits you best. This can be a doodle, an icon or an abbreviation of a word. For example, I use this drawing of a spray bottle to indicate that I am cleaning according to the FlyLady system. More about this system to get your household in order , while you are very busy can be found in this article .
So when I have been cleaning, I draw my spray bottle in a square. With this I can see that I was productive in terms of my housekeeping.
You can draw as many boxes as your page allows, but the smaller the box, the more difficult it becomes to draw an icon in it. I choose to use a square of 1 x 1 cm (0.39"). If you use a dotted bullet journal it is usually a square of 2 squares wide and 2 squares high. This way I can put 12 boxes in my Archer and Olive bullet journal. (Use the code GGM10 for 10% discount!) The first box is for the date, then 12 following boxes. But set up the board so that it will work for you!
Dividing the levels and planned tasks
When you want to use the levels you can use in this system and schedule tasks, then proceed as follows.
You divide your page in the number of levels you want to use. Suppose you have, like me, 12 boxes at your disposal and you use 3 to represent planned activities, then you have 9 boxes left for your output levels. You can apply 3 levels of 3 boxes each.
When you have done 3 activities and you add one, you move up one level. At that moment you have reached productivity level 2 for that day. The same applies if you have already done 6 tasks and you add an extra 7th. Then you grow to level 3 for that day.
The original concept
In the original concept of The Boosted Journal, he uses for level 1 three boxes and for level 2 and 3 both two boxes. He has organized this with the idea that when you start the day, you are more motivated and have more energy to get things done. As the day progresses, your motivation decreases or your energy decreases and completing a task becomes more difficult. Briefly, level 1 are the easy tasks you can easily accomplish and for levels 2 and 3 you already have to make more effort. Of course you can arrange it to your liking.
Summarized; the first 9 boxes in this example are to be filled with the actions you take on that day and you draw them up once you have completed them. Afterwards!
The plan section
Here you will plan 3 activities that you want to have done on that day. These are the only 3 squares you fill in in advance. Whether you do this the day before, at the start of the day or on your regular plan day in the week, it doesn't matter. It's a PLAN section, so that goes BEFORE ACTION. When you have completed such a planned action, the corresponding drawing will appear in one of the nine squares in the level section of your spread.
Setting up a content calendar for your social media can also be done this way. Plenty of possibilities.
For this system to work, you need to create an overview with icons, symbols, doodles or abbreviations that work for you. I'll add a color code, so I can see to which area my attention has gone the most.
My categories/areas are:
- Self-care; e.g. walking, reading, getting to sleep on time
- Household; e.g. zone cleaning, car wash, budget
- Business; e.g. blog, social media activity, website development
- General; driving for the children, an appointment, socializing / family
- Personal; medication, studying, planning time
- Choose categories you want to keep track of (study, work, household, hobby, etc.).
- Set up a list of icons.
- Choose a color scheme if you want. Each category gets its own color.
- Draw the number of boxes you want to use.
- Divide the levels and the plan section.
- Grab your to-do list and fill in your 'plan' section on your board.
- The remaining boxes will be filled out once you've completed the action.
You can even attach a timeline to it
To get back to the social media platforms in my previous example. I can assign 1 box to 1 hour of social media. With social media I mean my business activities on these platforms, not surfing for fun. The last one has nothing to do with productivity.
Suppose I spent 2 hours planning and creating social media content, I draw 2 boxes with my social media icon (a text balloon). That also applies to my study time, for example. If I've studied for more than an hour, then more boxes will follow with my study icon (a notebook).
I didn't add this additional timeline in the beginning, which gave my productiveness a false image. For example, there was 1 box in the household, while I had been working on it for 2 hours. On the other hand, there were 4 boxes with social media drawn in, while that had cost me a maximum of 15 minutes. By adding time, the time actually spent becomes clearer. You can make this as detailed as you like, but make sure that maintaining this board doesn't become a day job, then it will exceed its goal tremendously. Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version) Filling out this board takes me less than 2 minutes in a day.
Video: filling out my productivity board
Advantage of this system
By applying this system, I no longer have the feeling of 'what have I done today? It's clear through the pictures in my productivity board.
It becomes visible when your peak and dip moments are in your productivity. Suppose it turns out that you are least productive on Thursdays for whatever reason. Then you can anticipate by not planning difficult or laborious tasks on Thursdays. Conversely, if it turns out that you're the most productive on Wednesday afternoons, plan the tasks you're most reluctant to do or that cost the most energy.
I'm curious if you apply a productivity board or a form of it and what it looks like. Would you like to share it in the comments section below? That would be super cool! I'm going to continue with my productivity board, I really like it 😊.