Yes, it seems simple enough. Even logical! But apparently I need that reminder. Especially on those really busy weeks (and in my case, busy months). I typically make a plan at the beginning of the week, but by the time friday comes around I forget to look at my planner in the morning.
For example, this week I had planned to post a very important letter by friday if I hadn’t gotten a response from the person via email (long story short, there was a deadline). In any case, I had written it down in my filofax, however, I had an extremely busy week with rehearsals, work, competitions, composing, waking up early and sleeping late, and not feeling well in the meantime. With all this going on, I should have been heavily using and relying on my filofax. But I didn’t even open it up. I would take it with me, but not open it! Yes, it seems very counter productive I realise. But it’s just made me realise that I am still not in the habit of actually using the planner. Yes, I use it, but I don’t use it. Am I making sense?
Back to the story; friday rolls around and I’m busy doing the other things that I remembered I had to do that day. I’m about to start getting ready to travel to Belgium when I remember that I had to post this letter. Unfortunately the post offices were closed (the increased day light hours are messing with my time estimations). So now I have to rely on somebody else to try to post it today for me. Lucky for me I have just learned whilst typing this post that the person has in fact posted it for me. But I really don’t like relying on other people to do important tasks that I should have done myself.
So what is the moral of this story and what have I learned this week:
1. As stated in the title of this post, I need to open my filofax/midori. I got in to having filofaxes to help me remember all the things I had to do without me loosing sleep over it. Before, I would constantly be thinking “i have to remember to do this and that” and I was loosing sleep. So I got into using a filofax and fauxdori so that I could put all those thoughts on paper, which would free up my mind and reassure me that I wouldn’t forget things because it’s written down. However, if I’m not even looking at the notebooks and filofaxes after the fact, or at least regularly enough, then the point of having them is lost!
2. Just owning a filofax or midori doesn’t make you organised or even productive! That’s right people, you actually have to use it properly! Or at least regularly. I add properly because whilst I am using them, I’m still running into the problem I had before of forgetting to do things, or getting things done from memory instead of actually looking at what I’ve written down. I realise that this is a habit I have to develop. I have to add though, that there is no 1 proper way to use a planner. You need to develop that by yourself and find a system that works for you. However, I must also add that sometimes it could be that the system that you may be trying out could work, but you are not actually working with the system (i.e you are not using it or looking at it regularly, or just carrying it around as an accessory). So perhaps, if you find yourself unhappy with your current planning system, it might be an idea to really reflect on your own planning habits before tossing out a system.
3. Actually DO the things on your “to-do” list! The act of writing a to-do list is only half of the productive end goal. You actually need to the put it into action! Another obvious one but yeah…what can I say? I make the list but I only do some of them. Again, because I’m actually not looking at it often enough. Or I’m just really lazy :p. This leads me to my last point which is…
4. Stick to the to-do list! I don’t think I’m lazy. What I’m realising is that I actually do a lot of things in my week. The problem is that I am doing things that are not necessarily on my to-do list. So at the end of the day or week, I’m tired from doing a lot of things but I still feel like I accomplished very little. I guess this is where prioritising and time management comes into play. Probably what I need to do is really set down times in the day of when I will actually do the things on my to-do lists. Basically make an appointment out of my to-do’s.
Well, there you have it. I hope this post wasn’t too boring for you. I guess for some people all these points I’ve made are obvious. It’s obvious for me as well, but I guess putting it in practice is the difficult part. But I hope some of you have gained something from my post. And if there are any of you who have some tips to share, please feel free to do so by leaving a comment :).
‘Til next time,