Here's the habit-tracking spreadsheet that changed my life
- Laura Flick is the creator of You are Loved Templates.
- Flick says she struggled with productivity all her life.
This as-told-to essay is based on a conversation with Laura Flick, creator of You are Loved Templates; she is based in Los Angeles, California. It has been edited for length and clarity.
I have always struggled with staying productive, and spreadsheets like my habit tracker help me stay focused and complete my tasks — no matter how small.
I first pursued a career in film as a camera technician working from 9 am to 6 pm. I did that for about a year and a half before I burnt out and quit. I felt I didn't have any time for my personal life, and I was always stressed about my next work day. It was a really demanding job, and I worked a lot of overtime; it was not what my soul wanted.
I wanted to work for myself
Then, I tried to do different things like drop shipping, or crypto to try and work for myself. I have been using some sort of spreadsheet since I was in high school, and I progressed to selling templates online since I had skills in that area.
I started to use spreadsheets in my personal life when I learned how my brain works. I struggled with productivity my entire life and wasn't happy with that whatsoever. I felt paralyzed and miserable. But once I started working with my brain, instead of battling against it, my first spreadsheet was born — the habit tracker.
My whole life, I genuinely thought I wasn't smart. I didn't do well in school, I barely got assignments done, and I couldn't pay attention in class. And having something like this — even though it's so small — always gets me back on track when I feel like I need to reevaluate my life.
I started with a simple list
I started off by making a list of three things to do every day — brush my teeth, make my bed, and walk for 20 minutes. That may seem small to some people, but it was huge for me. My habit tracker has grown over the years, and it's been an incredible motivator and daily reminder.
I posted a video about my habit tracker on TikTok, and it blew up
I started posting on TikTok in December of 2021 and now have 142 thousand followers and 3.2 million likes.
The main reason I shared my habit tracker on TikTok is that I knew how beneficial it was for me when I was at a really low point in my life. I hoped maybe it could help someone else. I think some people just need to get back to the basics of doing really small tasks to get their life back in order.
But I'm still surprised by the attention I continue to get. Some of my videos with new templates perform really well on TikTok, and I'll even get emails from people saying my templates changed their lives. It's hard for me to wrap my head around how many people it's helping. About 40,000 people have downloaded my habit tracker so far.
The spreadsheet itself is very rewarding
My favorite part is that you can look back at the whole month — or even the whole year — and see all the checkboxes and all the colors because it turns green when you hit a certain amount of tasks, like 70% each day. It's definitely rewarding.
Creating spreadsheets is a skill that anybody can learn. I'm not an expert in Excel or Google Sheets. You just have to do some research on how to get there.
And a spreadsheet might not be the best thing for you, and that's okay too. You can make a cute bullet journal or something, and a lot of people resonate with that instead.
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