Note: This post is presented as part of Finding Resilience, a burnout prevention program for funeral professionals. To learn more about this program and sign up for free resources, click here.
Ever feel like you never have time for long-term planning and strategizing? Are there important topics on your “to do” list that never seem to get done? Would you like to incorporate “stress busters” into your daily schedule, but can’t seem to remember to do them?
You can overcome problems like these with the help of automatic reminders. Automatic reminders include any strategy which prompts you to remember or work on a specific task. This is especially helpful for tasks you want regular notifications about, but often forget due to your other tasks and duties.
For example, I receive an email every morning that prompts me with these questions:
- What project(s) did you work on yesterday?
- What will you do today?
- What are you thankful for?
I type in a brief word or phrase to each question and the entire process takes less than a minute. More importantly, the email prompts me to really examine my “to do” list for the day, and I hate admitting that I didn’t accomplish something the day before. I like ending with something I am grateful for because it helps start the day with a positive mindset. I have my system set up so that my responses are archived and I can look at them later.
Here are some examples of automatic reminders you might need for personal or funeral business use:
- Prompt to work on long-term strategic planning or a new program/initiative
- Cue to take a few moments to de-stress
- Reminder to have funeral home staff members complete timecards
- Prompt to write in your journal
- Reminder to start planning for quarterly reports, taxes, or other documents
As you can see from the examples, the reminders do not have to be daily. They might be once every workday or once a week, month, quarter or year.
Here are several ways to create automatic reminders:
- Set up daily email reminders.
- Mark regular reminders on your paper calendar.
- Create a daily checklist of business procedures.
Tailored to your needs, regular prompts are a great way to stay productive, reduce stress and be more efficient. What automatic reminders do you use already? What task do you need an automatic reminder for? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Dr. Jason Troyer is a psychology professor, former counselor, grief researcher and consultant for businesses that want to better serve grieving families. He has written numerous aftercare materials, including the Finding Hope booklet series, and is a frequent presenter at funeral service professional events.
This information is not intended to replace information from a mental health or medical professional. The reader should consult an appropriate professional in matters related to his or her physical and emotional health.