Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Fool Proof Plans (or Planning By Fools?)

It is so much easier to get a big job done if you do some really good planning before you start. Some very successful organization can make work flow so incredibly smooth that it seems completely natural.

A day's accomplishments can be greatly increased by good planning.  Money can be saved with good planning.  You plan your errands well, then head out in a very direct route to get everything you need, you save gas, you save time and you probably know where the sales are so you save on your purchases too.

Simple changes can make a world of difference.  I used to use cloth diapers.  By planning out my day so well, I eventually figured out that it was most effective to wash diapers after the baby went to bed, instead of in the morning.  If for some reason I was running low, they would ALL be clean for the morning.  I could hang them to air dry instead of using the dryer, which was good for the environment and good for the baby's bottom too.  Planning well saved me money there too.


Planning takes time.  And it can be addictive.  One good plan, followed through on, gives you the desire to plan well again, and again...
and then....
Suddenly, you realize that you have spent more time planning out how to do a job than you would have spent

I have been known to spend so much time looking at the calendar, planning my day, that my mother has cleaned the entire main floor of our house around me.  Seriously.  I have regularly spent more time planning my kids meals, than feeding myself.
I have spent money on multiple calendars or 'systems' to help me get on track, when all I accomplished was having a lot of little bits of information in a lot of random places!!  Surely, the best plan is to just get up and DO SOMETHING.  Pick anything.  Every single little thing I do now, is something I don't have to do later.

Now this planning addiction has gone so far as to leave me wide eyed at midnight on more than one occasion, thinking about which calendar was working best, which one I need to update.... Or should I just have a spreadsheet or ongoing task list.... A master list... With everything on it.... Now, I'm losing sleep over planning how to best do my planning....
And priorities?  Well, those can change easily too!  Just because I think I should check emails first, doesn't mean I HAVE TO.  What if I get up in the morning, turn on the computer, go to fill my coffee cup and dump it on the floor?  Instead of getting through my emails first, now I have to wash the floor!  I could just wipe the spot where I spilled but if washing the floors is on my list for the day (or week) I can just do it now.

You know what the best plan is?  Deal with things as they come.

When do I wash the floor?  When it needs it.  How often do I vacuum?  About once a week.... depending on how it looks.  Laundry?  Almost everyday, I figure out who needs what and wash it.  Most things in life are pretty obvious when they are in need of attention.  Houses, vehicles, children...even spouses.  Attend to the things that need attention. 

This is life, right here.  Right NOW... If you blink you will miss it.  So I am putting away my lists.  I am putting away the million extra calendars.  Me and my purple pen are just going to enjoy the day, following advice from Gretchen in the happiness project
"Do what ought to be done."

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