It dawned on me how funny it is that all the reminder that I have at my disposal that I can still forget some important things.  There are reminders on my Android phone, on my iPod Touch, on my laptop, and in Outlook when I am working with my emails.  There are even many great features where reminders will port over from one system to another like my reminders from my iOS 5 device to my Outlook program.  But there are some things that I have to consider when it comes to reminders:

*  If you do not place a reminder in something then it is no good, the Chinese have a saying, “The palest ink is better than the best memory.”  You can and will forget things, get them written somewhere you will notice or check often.

*  Ignored reminders are as good as no reminder:  A had an Android app that was suppose to help me build good habits, I put in it to remind me to read my Scriptures every night, well I get busy or tired or what have you and that reminder is an annoyance, or I just ignore it an it stays in my phone as background noise that I ignore.  So in this cause I have no excuse but I have to assess the other factors that keep me from doing what the reminder is reminding me to do.

*  Reminders never do the work for you:  I have been guilty many times of setting a reminder for something I just didn’t want to do, or something that rather difficult to do.  I would take all the things I had to do and make reminders and then forget about them so I wouldn’t get stressed out.  Well I could make reminders till I am blue in the face and it never did the things for me.  Reminders are a good outline if you need to manage your day, but they are not magic pills.

*  Reminders that have teeth:  Have you noticed that if you have work at a certain time and your alarm clock goes off, no matter how bad you want to ignore it you get up and grumpily turn off the alarm and then get ready for work?  If there are undesired consequences for ignoring a reminder you don’t ignore it.  When I think about reminders that I set for my personal development, I also try to associate what would happen long term if I don’t heed the reminder.  My wife and I switch off doing the dishes (yes we don’t have a dishwasher machine…) and if I don’t do the dishes when it is my turn then I have an unhappy wife, a bad enough consequence in itself.

*  Reminders for others do not exist unless…:  I have had my wife, my boss and others make a to do list for me and never knew it existed.  My wife would make a list on the fridge, and then got home from work and got after me for not getting those things done.  My boss likewise may have made a list of things to follow up and sent it in an email, well after getting a of emails it gets lost in the shuffle, this reiterates my point that reminders don’t do the work for you and they most certainly won’t get someone else to do the work automatically.

Reminders are still great things to have, but if you want to be more productive then have a system that works and if others are involved make sure they know your system or that you know their system that they are holding you accountable for.

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