How To Make Your Own Effective Progress Log

Hola, Guitar Nerds!

Today I’m going to show you how to make your own effective progress log.

If you’re struggling with Shiny Object Syndrome, or feeling frustrated with slow progress, or you can’t decide what to do first, whatever it is – PANIC NOT my little cauliflower, here’s my system for combating that and getting results.

It’s super simple, and you can follow along ‘Play School’ style :)

Follow along with me


You’ll need these things:

  • 78 sheets of paper
  • 13 thicker bits of paper (in a light colour if you like)
  • 1 thickish bit of card
  • Hole puncher
  • Connector thingys
  • Scissors (get an adult to help you ;)
  • Pen

Some Tips

1. Review Weekly

I do this on a Sunday. Just take a look over the work that you did in the week and reflect on it to plan the week coming up. Also, consider how the daily actions you’re taking are moving you to larger goals. Is that happening, or are you just responding to the most immediate stuff? Is the work you’re doing effective? How do you feel about the work you’re putting in? Are you enjoying it? Did you get stuff done?

2. Use the Weekly Review for your Progress Log updates

If you’re an Electric Campfire member, use your Progress Log to share what you did. All the work you’ve logged in the daily sections is perfect fodder for updating the progress log. It’s such a great way to leverage this site by building your own momentum and getting the feedback, encouragement and advice of fellow members. Plus it’s cool to have a record of your progress over time. It can be motivating to see how far you’ve come.

3. Plan one thing the night before

The night before, just write down one thing you’re going to do tomorrow. This forces you to actually think about your day, your time, and exactly WHEN and HOW you’re going to do something! Sounds so unbelievably stupid, but for me and my idiot brain I can’t stress how useful that has been. Just one thing I’m going to do tomorrow. And then when I get to work I hit the ground running. Make sure it’s not:

  1. check facebook…

4. Go Left to Right – Go Right to Left

R2L = typical project planning where you start with the end in mind (the quarterly aim) and reverse engineer the steps you’ll need to take in order to get there.

L2R = where you just start doing, and over time – say a couple of weeks – you can analyse your daily work to look for larger themes, tendencies, patterns that you can project forward into a bigger goal. Figuring things out by doing rather than planning.

These are both really useful things for me and I enjoy both: on one hand, the kind of exploratory creating where there’s no goal in mind, and on the other, taking steps to achieve a result.

5. Direction vs Destination

I think the REALLY BIG goals we have are better thought of as the Direction you want to go in rather than the Destination. You could think of it as RIGHT NOW the work is super specific, but as you go further away in time, the week, quarter, your life, etc – the goal becomes less & less specific and more about the Direction that you want to go in. Many reasons why that is, but one of the biggest is that once you arrive at the big goal you become it – there’s nothing to ‘get’ anymore. So having the biggest goals as Directions means that you keep going and you don’t get disappointed at working really really hard and getting to ‘huhh, is that it…?’.

Ok, that’s all folks.

Try it out, and let me know if it helps!