Planning my life

So I have now got all these resolutions how on earth am I going to achieve them? It’s all very well to say take one bite at a time but now I have to organise myself so I can do all the bites I have undertaken to do!! And it’s a scary thought…

It’s very easy to say I am going to do this and this. But if I am going to be more successful this year with my resolutions I need to have a plan and I need to stick to it. So the plan has to be practical and it needs to not be overwhelming. Because I know the way that I am, and if it is too easy for me to make excuses I will.

So how do I make a plan that I will stick to? I clearly need to try and allocate some time each week or day to do different tasks. Even the thought of doing that scares me. I’m not sure why.. perhaps because if I make a plan I need to stick to it. And I am not good at sticking to plans.

I notice one of the reasons they say people procrastinate is the fear of failure. When I read that I thought that was an odd reason to procrastinate – surely achieving a goal would give you a sense of achievement? But just now when I am trying to create a plan to do all the things I want to do I understand that fear of failure.

If I make a plan or a list then to succeed I need to follow the plan or cross things off the list. I know the overwhelming feeling I get when I make a list and it weighs heavily on me all the time because I am not making the list any shorter. It is the same with my cluttered house. Just looking at the mess makes me feel a failure. And yet I procrastinate about doing something about it. Why is that? Perhaps it is easier to want to do it and plan to do it than it is to start something and fail, or plan to do something and not do it.

So instead I procrastinate about making a plan. I have spent the day researching personal organisers and online organisers. Should I just buy a paper diary or use my phone calendar? Should I create a spreadsheet and allocate time to certain tasks? Or download a digital organiser and see if that works? It is easier for me to think about how I will make a plan than it is to do the actual planning. Thinking about how I am going to plan my schedule isn’t a stressful thing and so I am happy to spend hours doing it. And when I do decide on what method I am going to use I will spend a lot of time setting it all up. But I will still eventually have to do a plan!

So I have actually learnt a lot about myself today – and even writing this article – has helped me see things that I hadn’t seen before. I see now how the fear of failure can stop you doing things, that it is so easy to set yourself up for failure (I will make a list but I know I’m not going to do it) and that for a procrastinator planning is a very scary thought!!

But it has achieved something practical as well. I can see that actually allocating times to do things for me would be fatal. So much better for me to make a list for each day, week and month. That gives me the flexibility to still achieve my goals over a period of time but not have the 2 hours on a Tuesday afternoon set down for cleaning, not achieve that, and then instantly abandon all other plans because I have failed to achieve one. A bit like someone trying to lose weight abandoning their diet entirely due to weakening and having a donut!

So this article has changed from what I originally planned it to be. I was going to write about my research for finding the best organisers…but I think I have learnt a much more valuable lesson about myself instead….. We have to try and understand why we procrastinate, what motivates us and what works best for us to help us become more organised. I think I will work better on lists that need to be completed than set time slots for activities…what do you think works best for you?

One thought on “Planning my life”

  1. It seems a little introspection goes a long way learning about our true selves is a groovy journey that hopefully never ends. Jen I didn’t do any planning with the decluttering tasks, I just grab a bin and do the “open a draw and just start” dance , then the next draw or just one cupboard door. While I’m waiting for the kettle boil or on the phone, more like lots of horedorves rather than bites. Then before I knew it I was tackling a chest of draws or a whole cupboard. I too have learnt lots about myself, I’m a little slow to get going but once I can see the difference or results I’m off until one space is done. I just need to see some progress to keep me going. Good luck Jen.

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