Last night I was supposed to be writing this blog post right after I finished up my late night snack. I was idly looking down my Facebook stream whilst snacking, and thinking about what I should blog about (so many topics, so little focus), when a planner ad caught my eye.
Yes, I occasionally peruse ads on Facebook. It’s like commercials on network TV – someone’s gotta pay the bills, and I’m happy enough that it’s the people behind the ads rather than me, so I’ll click through here and there when something interests me.
In any case, new planner. A day planner/journal combo that includes daily “assignments” morning and night, which is a great idea, since that ensures you look at it at least twice per day. It includes all sorts of nifty features for goal setting and self-reflection, and it’s not cheap, so I did what any seasoned online shopper does and clicked through to Amazon to see if they had anything similar, cheaper.
Now the whole time I’m doing this, mind you, I’m keenly aware that I have two planners sitting on my desk within inches of my laptop, that haven’t been touched since sometime in February. I also have a to-do list app I pay a yearly fee to use (it’s not expensive, but still), a meal planning app that I’m trying out (and probably won’t pay for ’cause it’s $5 more bucks a month basically for aesthetics), free Google calendars, a calendar on my phone-that’s-not-a-phone, wall calendars, and several blank journals at my disposal. Plus outlook at work for work stuff, and a paper planner at work as well.
Needless to say, I do not *need* another planner…but clearly, the systems I have are all lacking in one way or another. I kept thinking, “I don’t need a dedicated, pre-made planner for this. I can just use a blank journal and create my own daily planner.” Which is absolutely true, and exactly why my planners/calendars aren’t the actual problem.
The problem is, I haven’t been disciplined enough to actually sit down with a planner or calendar or blank journal morning and night. I used to do this all the time, before computers had such great features, but now there’s a disconnect between my digital calendar and a paper calendar – double entry, namely. But studies have shown (and my own experiments uphold it) that actually writing something by hand (you know, pen & paper) makes us process things differently – more deeply than typing the same information. Which means using paper and pen for that first planning session in the morning and the reflective/looking forward session at night is actually a really good idea, even if we use something digital to keep track (or send us reminders, in my case) in between. So I find myself going back and forth, wanting to develop the habit of morning/evening journal-planning, and yet not willing to make the time to do that even with my electronic tools, much less paper.
What’s a girl to do? I have two options, really – make a point to change my lazy ways, or let it go and continue just sort of muddling through on my routines alone. The latter isn’t so bad, really, but my routines could use a bit of refinement too, especially my evenings where walking the dogs is needing to be later and later due to nice/hot weather and how late other people (and subsequently loose dogs) are out now.
Take tonight, for instance…where I’m writing this post instead of writing fiction because when I tried to write earlier, the dogs were all riled up, and then I made the mistake of sitting down after we got back from our walk instead of just going and doing my kitchen chores. So now it’s midnight, but I could easily have been doing this earlier if I hadn’t sat down after our walk until my own “chores” were done (evenings are easier in the winter when it’s cold and dark so we can walk right after work).
Discipline. Planning. And possibly another reality check when it comes to my priorities. Dang it. Health, which includes sleep, food & workouts. The hubby and dogs. Work. Writing. And then if I have anything at all left over, *then* I can work on other things.
I’m going to start doing some sort of morning plan/nightly check-in thing for myself, but not tomorrow. Tomorrow I have to be up and out of here early for our weekly staff meeting, which leaves me zero time for anything besides basic grooming. But Wednesday, I should be able to get that started, and hopefully by the end of the week I’ll have started to change my perspective on things. Or at least my productivity levels. One can hope…
Now, sleep. And no writing post this week on the other blog, either. Priorities!
But I may still order one of those daily planners… (because who doesn’t love a nice new desk accessory?!)