I learn a lot just by listening to snatches of conversation made by complete strangers. One of the best bits of advice I ever received was from a young woman who passed by me while I was out for a walk. She was on a cell phone and I heard her say to the person on the other end of the call: “My mom always used to say that the key to success is to make a plan and then work the plan….” That’s it. How wonderfully simple and so inspiringly practical.
My life has gotten complicated over the years and as I get older I’m finding that some of my synapses don’t fire in the manner to which I have become accustomed. (Ahem… I forget stuff.) Slowly, in an evolutionary process that coincides with the death of my neurons, I have been making and working plans for all of my activities. It is the only way I can get things done and not drop any balls.
It started with work projects: I use Outlook to make task lists, prioritize and schedule those tasks, and check them off or move them forward as needed. Making and working plans in this manner is the only way I can keep it all together.
Not surprisingly, I eventually discovered that my work life was more organized and efficient than my personal life. At a certain point in my life, I did not have so much going on and I didn’t need to be so organized. Again, things transform over time. Now I have family concerns that require action, responsibilities in my faith community that need my attention, my own commitment to a writing practice, the management of certain health and wellness regimes, and the execution of the basics of living: laundry, shopping, cleaning, bill-paying, and the like. And once in a while I go out to have fun and even that requires some planning.
Let me just say now that I am not OCD with a compulsion to organize everything. No, I am just a very busy woman. Tomorrow, for those of you who are interested, I will briefly show you my time management system and how it is executed.
ljg (c) 2016