Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Failing to Plan and Planning to Fail

Last week I posted about four of the biggest obstacles I put up for myself in approaching my day-to-day life with intention - sleeping in, reading during the day, spending time online, and good ol' procrastination.  There is something else that I can readily point to as a reason that I often get to the end of the day and can't necessarily account for how I spent my time (or feel that I got a lot of things done, but they weren't the "right" things).  I don't always plan well.  Nothing more complicated than that...I just don't plan my time well.  To borrow, and slightly adapt, a great quote from Winston Churchill - she who fails to plan is planning to fail.

There are a few things that help me on the planning front when I actually do them.  One is that I keep a white board calendar hanging next to the mirror in my bathroom.  When I remember to update it at the beginning of the week it helps keep me on track - where I need to be and when, what out-of-the-ordinary events are coming up, etc.  The other thing that helps me plan is staying on top of my to do list.  For me, that means writing down everything that flits through my mind that I would like to tackle - big or small - and prioritizing my top "must do" items for the day and week.  These are simple things, and yet I'm not consistent in doing them.  Part of it is that I don't necessarily love managing details and I let these small things slip through the cracks.  But part of it is that I often make things too complicated.  Rachel at Small Notebook nailed it in her post "Are You Making Your To Do List Too Hard?".

The irony of this post is that my whiteboard calendar hasn't been updated in a week and a half.  I should go write that down on my to do list.

"I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world.  This makes it hard to plan the day."  ~E.B. White

Today's quote was sent to me by one of my wonderful sisters-in-law...thanks, Jules!

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