Yesterday evening I did something that I haven’t done in a couple of months. I sat down with my planner and actually planned out the most important things I wanted to get done today. It used to be I did that every night before going to bed, but somewhere along the way I lost the habit.
In the past, I would make enormous lists and rarely ever accomplished everything I’d set for myself to do. This time, I chose the three most important things I wanted to get done: laundry, a large planning session for my life, and this blog post.
I had forgotten how wonderful it was to get up in the morning and know what I was going to do today beyond just when I needed to be at work. I actually had a plan today!
My planning session this morning was even better. A couple of weeks ago I made a list of my highest priorities (or what I wanted them to be). Today I decided to group them into four categories: physical, mental, social, and spiritual. This was easy to remember and helped me limit my focus, as I decided each month I would set a goal in each of those four areas. For example, I decided that my desire to become more organized would fit under physical, as it often involved my physical space and time. (It made sense to me!) For this month, I decided my goal would be to use my planner by planning every night and completing my top three to do items each day. I have a sneaking suspicion that doing so will help a lot of other things fall into place in my life!
Beyond identifying my priorities and setting goals, I also made a to do list of things that I needed to get done this week. I can pull my top three to dos each day from that list now.
Honestly, doing this has been such a relief. And limiting myself to a top three things that absolutely have to get done in a day is also a relief, because when they’re done, even if I didn’t get anything else done today, I know I accomplished the most important things to me. And three items is actually do able. Sometimes in the past I would have 5 or more, especially if I had a lot of homework due. When I couldn’t finish them all, I felt like a failure. Thanks to my depression, I can feel like that without any sort of cause, so no need to set myself up for failure in planning and time management!
As the saying goes, “He who fails to plan plans to fail.” How has planning helped you?