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!
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.
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. !
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 of 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 okay 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?
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.
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 🙂