Tag Archives: planning

Well Hello there Blog….

How I have missed you….. I have thought of you often as I was jaunting around Europe… and even more since I got home….. So many times I have found myself writing blogs in my head – but being the procrastinator that I am – I haven’t put anything down on paper.

So here I am – a blank page in front of me, so many things to write and not sure where I should start!

As is my want, whenever I am faced with a large task or many tasks I tend to become overwhelmed and not do anything. However I have found that in more recent times I do tend to adopt my ‘one bite at a time’ philosophy more frequently, and so do break the task down and at least start making some progress instead of avoiding the task altogether and finding other things to do….

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I have noticed my life tends to fluctuate from me being very unmotivated and not doing anything, to being almost manic and trying to do too many things at once…. I cant remember if that was always the way I operated or if it is something that has developed over time – it certainly seems to have happened over the last twenty years.

I can also get very obsessive about things once I start doing something – whether it is just paperwork, family history or playing games on my iPad – once I start I get very absorbed in things and very single minded about finishing something I have started. This can be a good thing but it can also be a bad thing. When absorbed in something I tend to neglect everything else and feel very unsettled if I am not working on my current passion.

At the moment I am quite manic and am trying to do several different things at the same time. This is good I hear you say? It isn’t really when you just rush from one project to another – doing a bit on something and then doing a bit on another…. so you end up with many different things on the go, you lay awake at night planning all the stuff you have to do the next day (or next week) and meanwhile you live in the clutter of several tasks that are half done that you are working on.

I blame my holiday of course for this manic behaviour…. Five weeks away from home seeing the world and removed from the daily hum drum of life you gain a new perspective on many things…

I think the biggest change is that I am stepping back from a hobby I have been very active in for over twenty years. I decided that there was so many other things that I wanted to do or achieve and so I needed to spend less time with this hobby to create time to do other things… It was a tough decision but I am really excited about the many other things I want to do.

Trouble is – I did spend a lot of time doing this hobby but I doubt giving it up will really give me the amount of time I will need to do all the new adventures I am planning to do! So some juggling of time will still be required – but meantime I am very motivated to do many of the things on my to do list! So that is a good thing – so long as I don’t burn myself out in two months and go back to being the unmotivated Me that I can easily become….

So, Dear Blog, I am sorry I have neglected you for so long… but I promise I will come back here again very soon…..

January Room

I have been resting on my laurels a bit this month… I am still basking in the glory of finishing my September room (in time for Christmas) that I havent really started thinking about my January room – and we are already a third of the way thru the month.

So I have decided to pick a fairly easy room for January. It is my lounge room. It basically needs a real spring clean and some maintenance and it will be done. Not much clutter in there at the moment.
Part of the work I will need to do is buy a new light for the room. It hasnt had a light for at least 3 years so we use a lamp in there at the moment. Before the light gave up completely it used to fire the globes out across the room – clearly not a well light!! So shopping for a new light will need to be done. When we get the electrician in we will get him to fit hard wired smoke alarms in the house….so that will be another job crossed off the maintenance list.
The curtains will need to be washed (and just quietly I didnt do the curtains in my September room so they will need to be done as well) and I want to get the carpet shampood. And that will be another room done.
My February room is going to be a real doozy so will give myself a quiet month this month.
What room, or cupboard or area are you going to do in January?
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Lists

So I did my list at the start of the week…

I had already decided that I might work better with lists than allocating specific times to do different chores. I made up three different lists – what I hope to do that month, what I hope to do this week, and what I hope to achieve each day. The daily list is fairly informal. I try and write the night before and really just include the specific things that need to be done being mindful of what I want to achieve for that week…
So I have established that I am pretty good at writing lists. I downloaded this natty little program called Evernote ( you may remember I love all these little organising and filing programs – always more fun to organise than to actually “do”!!) I have it on my Laptop, iPad and phone…. and it immediately syncs everything which is great for lists. It has a reminder section but not a calendar which is disappointing. and it also has a great note section and a Webclipper and a searchable tag thingy – I can see it is actually pretty useful program. But back to my lists…
As I say I am pretty good at writing lists. I can do lovely lists that I can tick things off as I do them and I can have these lists in my phone to remind me what I should be doing.. But I am not so great at crossing off things on my lists…. I would say I have been 50% successful on both my daily lists and my weekly list. But I can see where I am going wrong…
I allocated a certain amount of time to do certain things. I wanted to do 5 hours  week of family history and 5 hours of other Club related paperwork. I started on the Club paperwork promising myself that when completed I would reward myself by doing the Family History…but of course I did as I always do and spent many hours doing Club paperwork (it is never ever up to date)  and didn’t do any family history. So altho I achieved a lot in one area I neglected others that I enjoy – and that is not the object of the exercise. I need to learn to do the allocated time and then do some family history… all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy – and wont get my Family History book written.
I also failed dismally with my walking. I planned to walk at least twice this week and didnt do it once. I have plenty of excuses – doing four nights night duty, extremely hot temperatures, other things to do – but I need to be more disciplined about it. My hubby tells me my walking poles are going to get rusty!!lol And I wont be fit for my holiday.
So thats my first week of list writing…Varying degrees of success. I will write another list for next week understanding where I went wrong this week….lets see how I go…..

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?