The Planner

2008 Hello Kitty Planner
2008 Hello Kitty Planner (Photo credit: imeleven)

I’d like to ask you a favour. Could you please let me know if you or anyone that you know have these symptoms ? The reason is, I would really, really like to know that I’m not alone!

You see…

The Signs and Symptoms

I am a planner. Well, it starts there.

Not only am I a planner but I LOVE it! I LOVE watching people talking about and sharing the way they use their planners. I love looking at how they decorate them, using stickers and colourful tabs and washi tape; and how they organize them and what they write in them. (Youtube has a whole community of planners wanting to watch other planners do up their planners!)

I love planning and I would say that I am quite the expert at it too! I love imagining how my planner would look like. I browse stationary shop aisles and bookshops looking at planners and notebooks with the potential to be turned into planners. I buy them and with great gusto I plan.

Solid Colour Washi Tape and Post-Its

When I plan I include everything. I’m great at making sure that my timings are just perfect. I make sure that I give myself enough time to do whatever it is that needs to be done and I even give myself time between tasks because for some reason I would need a whole 10 minutes between reading my course material and proceeding to lunch – at home, a mere 2 second walk from my room to the kitchen.

When I start planning or imagining myself plan my days out it feels so good. It feels like *this* is *it*. This is me doing something good and right! This is awesome! I’m going to schedule all my days in neat little time slots and I’m going to get.stuff.done. !

DSC_0801
DSC_0801 (Photo credit: pure.sugar)

When I’m done, I look at my beautiful schedule and smile. A smile that lasts for 2 seconds before it’s replaced with a huge sigh and my brain completely putters to a stop. You see, I planned my plan so well that even before I get to it I’m so tired! This phenomenon can present itself in a different form as well. After smiling for 2 seconds, I close the book and giving a nod of approval for my efforts, I put it away where it can be easily reached (of course!), tell myself “I can’t wait to get to it TOMORROW” and when tomorrow comes it feels like a huge basket of troublesome chores have been dumped on my shoulders!

The above then subtly flows into the next phase which is procrastination or to be honest, a complete stubbornness to NOT follow my perfectly planned schedule. This is when as I am telling myself that it’s time for me to write a blog post , the cursor clicks on the YouTube link. As I am telling myself that I should be *really* writing that blog post which I had planned, the cursor finds its way to click on…wait for it….are you ready? Are you sure?

Ok…finds it’s way to click on a YouTube video about “this awesome looking planner!”.

This goes on for a bit. In between some things get done. Some things are left to gather dust and all the while at a subtle and at times not so subtle level I am berating myself for not getting *anything* done.

From this phase it then circles back and starts all over again.

The (Attempted) Diagnosis

So my question to myself has been why? Is it because I am actually not the type of person to go with the plan and instead am a go with the flow-er? Is it much deeper than that? Why this continuous self sabotage? Why this great cyclical phenomenon of start, stop and start again? Is this truly self sabotage? Is this truly a sense of not being worthy even to myself? Or is it just a plain and simple thing called laziness?!

Well…I feel and think that for me it’s a good dollop ofย  expectation that every thing has to be perfect – the perfect time, the perfect start of the day, the perfect weather before I can actually start; added with another dollop of fear that expectations will not be met, plus a cup of disastrous thought form of I don’t really need to put in the effort to get results and to top it all off the troubling fact I lack discipline and focus.

BUT..ah the wonderful but which has the power to negate everything else said before it, I also truly think that having such a fixed schedule may work for some but it doesn’t work for me. I am honestly the type that needs to walk that fine line in between planning and going with the flow. I need something that isn’t too restrictive but at the same time gives me some structure or else I rebel against it, even if that “it” is from me.

The other thing which strikes me is that sometimes it’s okayย  to be doing “nothing”. You know, we are so conditioned by society that to not do anything means you are wasting time. That’s not really true, unless it’s the only thing that we do. It’s okay to just “take a chill pill and relax”. I mean, who are we racing for? Where are we rushing to all the time? What is this “rat race” that everyone is so concerned about, because the last time I checked we are humans, not rats! I mean, seriously I think even rats take time out for themselves! When I berate and tell myself off that I’m wasting time, it’s added stress. It doesn’t allow me to enjoy just being, just relaxing, just vegetating. When I don’t allow myself to enjoy it, then it just seems to me that I haven’t even taken any time out! Does this make sense?

The Treatment

spirits
spirits (Photo credit: istolethetv)

I’ve been pondering about this malady of mine for some time now and I *think* I’ve come up with a new formula. I’m working at working it so it isn’t fully approved yet, but I am hopeful.

The Formula

1 cup of having a general idea of what are the things that I would like to do. This can be in a form of a list plus a little bit of scheduling for example sticking to my schedule of a blog post every Sunday and Wednesday.

2 cups of discipline. No way out of this, I’m afraid. We need to put in the effort before anything happens. We all just have to do a Nike and “Just Do It”

2 cups of focus. Again something that we can’t run away from. When I mean focus, to me it’s just concentrating on doing whatever it is that I am doing and not doing anything else till it’s done.

2 large spoons of “It’s okay if things don’t work out as planned! Just go with the flow!”

1 large cup of enjoying what I am doing!

The end result should be quite remarkable I think! (Well I hope!)

So, dear reader…do you exhibit any of the symptoms above? And if so, what is the cause of your symptoms , you think? Oh! And have you or are you in the process of finding a remedy? It’s would be wonderful if you would share it here ๐Ÿ™‚

29 thoughts on “The Planner

  1. Well, I ‘fink’ the cup and mixture above would sort you out fine Shree, your formula taken three times daily, (no shirking, and hold the nose please!!) will make you more balanced and able to plan your next course of action. I on the other hand, tend to jump right in, plans are made but go out of the window at the last minute should anything better come to mind. This makes any doodling on any planner totally defunct. I had no plans for updating a blog today, it just happened when I clicked on Live Writer to check a poem I was playing with, I WAS going to check with WordPress Reader first and carefully check everyone’s blog and comment, like a goon un’ but ‘click’ went my cursor and update I did. So, impulse against careful planning? I’ll impulsively wait for your next update. ๐Ÿ™‚ xx

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    1. Ha! Pen…three times a day is fine but the need to hold my nose? Oh dear..that sounds like the concoction must taste awful!!! But no other way of doing it except to just do it eh?

      Sometimes I think it’s okay to be impulsive! Sometimes I feel like we need to give ourselves permission to be impulsive and not get angry with ourselves because being impulsive is like going with the flow, flowing with your heart and that is supposed to be joyous!!

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      1. My mum always said, if it tastes horrible it’s doing you good. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Impulsive I shall remain I think Shree, but there’s always room for a bit of planning. A pinch of this, a tad of that, makes for an interesting concoction methinks. (there I go again, medicine!!) xx

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          1. You know as a kid I wanted a chemistry set, and a xylophone (for some unknown reason) Sobs!! I never got either!! ๐Ÿ™‚ (mayhap a xylophone playing chemist wasn’t a good idea?)

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            1. hahahaha Pen..you’re too funny BUT I think that you *should* get a chemistry set AND a xylophone! Seriously! Get it and try it out and let us know what comes out of the experience ๐Ÿ˜‰ I’m sure your inner child would be so thrilled!

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            2. lol Pen! ๐Ÿ™‚ Have a wonderful weekend my friend dreaming of colourful chemicals in clear glass test tubes and beakers while listening to your xylophone masterpiece being played on the stereo! ๐Ÿ˜€

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  2. I’m much more of a “go with the flow” person . . .

    * I keep a calendar handy to jot possibilities in, but I wait to see how I feel before deciding to head out the door.

    * I have a L~O~N~G To Do List . . . but no set timetable for doing things.

    * I keep a list of meal ideas for inspiration . . . but often ignore it to make something else entirely.

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    1. Hmm…thanks so much for the input Nancy! Love that I’m getting idea from everyone! I can’t do long to-do list though..I just know from experience nothing gets done! LOL!. BUT a to do list seems like a good idea!

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  3. You’re not the only one. I went through a phase of trying to plan my days, but I just ended up stressing out about all I had to do. I’m an analytical geek so you’d think detailed planning would work for me, but it doesn’t.

    I only use a planner to record appointments I can’t miss. If I’m leaving for a trip or preparing for some other big event, I’ll create a to-do checklist, but the rest of the time I use a simple no-pressure system: Before I go to bed, I figure out one or two things that I must do the next day: grocery shop or blog or whatever. Those are my priority items, and I do them first thing the next day if I can. If not, I make sure they get done at some point, but the key is to only have one or two must-do items. Any more than that, and I get overwhelmed.

    Sometimes I have days when there’s nothing I “must” do, and then I pick one or two things I’d like to get done. The key for me is to always set my priorities the night before. If I try to prioritize in the morning, I can’t seem to do it and I end up puttering the day away – which is funny because I’m a morning person, so you’d think I’d plan better in the morning.

    I don’t think of “puttering” days as a waste, but I don’t like to have too many of them or I start to feel as though I’m not getting anything done. This works really well for me, but I’m not sure you’d like it – no need for cute planners! ๐Ÿ˜‰

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    1. Oh….Diane! I love your idea!!! Hmm…now I envision a ..ahem…cute planner to jot down just one or two things…so it’s not actually a detailed plan…but at the same time sort of a plan…just more generalized…ooo….now I want to go to my favourite bookshop to look for a cute notebook! hehehehe

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  4. I tend to go with the flow, Shree… I’m not really a planner as such, but I like the use of colour and highlighting important things ‘to do’, so I’d say I’m a partial planner. I’d rather ‘just do it’ though. Or do nothing! ๐Ÿ˜‰

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    1. hehe! I love colour and stationary ..so I get what you mean. I’m beginning to find that “the just do it” mode with some light planning may be the way to go…at least I get to use some colour!

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  5. I am quite a bit like that. I don’t use a planner, but I’m always writing things to do lists. They’re all over. I’m like you, I like to plan, but hate to follow the plan. And things I should have gotten done today, get put off tomorrow. I think some of it stems from trying to do too much. And maybe not eliminating things that don’t have value. In the end, little of what we have or do or want has any true value. Yet we kill ourselves to get it or to do it. And I often find when I’m overtaxed I take on more just to make matters worse.

    If you find a workable cure, I’d like to hear it. I hope your plan of attack works for you.

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    1. Wow…reading your comment…I grinned from ear to ear and did a little mental cheer..because that is exactly what my predicament is too! Except though..I don’t feel like I have too much planned…which is another whole problem in itself! This constant berating of myself that I don’t do enough…or plan enough…

      Will let you know if my current mode of treatment seems to work ๐Ÿ˜‰

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    1. Thank Anyes!. Hmm..I’m not sure Anyes. I used to think it was that – self sabotage, but now I am not as sure. I mean, definitely there is that component in it, but the bigger part is fear…or maybe it’s fear leading to self sabotage. But definitely a lack of discipline too.

      Yes, I just need to go for it! That usually works! hehe

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    1. Hello sharmishta! Thank you for liking the post ๐Ÿ˜€
      I for one don’t actually think its a big vice…not planning that is, because sometimes planning in itself can be a vice..lol

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