Tuesday, June 3, 2014

A Whole Book of Day 1

It's funny how I live in 2 gears.  I love planning and scheduling; it relieves stress to get all my ideas out of my head and onto paper, and then to break those goals down into tasks and appointments and progress and WINNING!!!!!

But there are days when I don't see my planner all day, much less cross anything off the To Do list.  These days are filled with keeping up or letting loose.  These are the days packed with events--either planned or unexpected--and I'm sort of carried from waking to bed time on a current of action/reaction.  Or sometimes I just get lazy (or maybe depressed, depending on who you ask) and checking my planner or calendar is just too much effort, what with all the feeding tiny humans I do every day.

After about 4 days of this I start to get the shakes and by day 6 I'm writing lists on every available surface. The boys wander around shirtless with shopping lists and trip itineraries sharpied on their backs.  The planning frenzy is terrifying to those unaccustomed, and Mark will often hide his current toys projects from the inevitable cleaning storm that follows.

So each time I find I've lost track of my calendar I pull it free from under the couch, or wherever it was shoved last, and I start charting the next few days.  And it feels good.  It feels like progress.  I've learned a few things about planning my days, like selecting a Top 3, integrating my Google calendar and my paper planner, and how much I love stickers every few pages.  And when I get on a roll I feel unstoppable.

But here's the weird thing: on those days that I don't plan and organize my day I feel guilt.  Bone crushing shame that I was not productive, that I did not make progress on any of the billion things I am trying to do all at once.  This can't be normal. Who else has an emotional relationship with their planner?

So I have started this cool thing where I plan out a few days and get a few things done.  I make some progress and keep down the chaos, but then on days when I don't stick to my planner I am just...shrugging it off.  I look at what didn't get done and either I cross it off as not important enough to go back and do, or I roll it forward a few days. And in times of high stress, like last weekend when my Mom was in town and we planned a Disney trip, instead of increasing my stress by planning for those 3 days, I just planned to not plan.  I gave myself permission to react to whatever came up and roll with it.

And you know what?  Heck if I don't feel like a brand new person! I enjoyed my weekend with my Mom without feeling that nagging at the back of my mind to finish my Top 3, and after the event was over I sat down with my planner and charted out a few days, grabbed some leftover tasks from before the visit, and kept on WINNING. It's a flippin' miracle!

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