Planning…your book…wait, your life

My life is starting to run away with me again. I’m over-committed to too many things. To be fair, this problem is my own fault. I can be disorganized at times.

So as this is the second year in a row that I literally have nothing that’s due to be published or even ready to submit, I’ve been looking at various things to help.

First, I tried apps. I’m a computer person, so that was my go-to. And there are great apps out there. Ones that will help you set goals, ones that will help you pare down tasks to just the essentials, and ones that will countdown tasks until the day they are due. (Personally, I think if you have a countdown, there needs to be flashing lights and annoying noises triggered so that you finish the task on time out of fear.) But, I eventually went with one that I’ve had for a while: Habitica. It makes a monster-killing game out of keeping you on track with your goals, your habits, and your daily tasks. For every “daily” I complete (for example, meditating, blogging once a week, cleaning out my Inbox) I get one point against a boss monster. As a reward, I gain experience points and do damage on the boss. Also, once the monster is defeated, I get other rewards like eggs. Eggs lead to pets! I have wolves, foxes, hippogriffs, jackalopes, and a bunch more. You can equip yourself with cool armor or silly costumes, team up with other players to defeat monsters faster, and take part in challenges to make you a better person. Anyway, Habitica is good. And if you’d like to join my party, you can find my awesome Healer character under ID: aideelad.

I looked briefly at Vision Boards. I love the idea behind them. Seeing a picture of something you want or posting an affirmation to repeat daily is helpful. But I didn’t want to deal with the clutter in my house. I have cats, so stray bits of paper become toys. I decided to stick  with my boards at Pinterest. I even created a Forward Momentum board (named after the personal motto of one of my favorite fictional characters). That’s where I put my inspirational quotes to remember, pictures of authors I admire or places I want to be in my life.

My last attempt to get my unorganized life under control is still ongoing. I thought I’d try a planner. There’s actual research on the benefits of physically writing down your goals versus typing them on a laptop or in an app. I despise the idea of carrying around an analog version of a planner when there should be a digital version but since science is prompting me, I thought I’d give it a go. I looked at a ton of free planner pages online and then backed one on Kickstarter called the EVO. They give you a planner based on your answers to a brain-type quiz. (I’m an Oracle with an Explorer subset.) And I liked that they focused on different things for each type of brain. I downloaded their pages to try out before my planner arrives and it still doesn’t quite fit. (I’m still going to try it out again when the whole planner arrives because I might be missing some holistic premise.) But in the meantime, I’ve been tinkering with my own planning pages.

I realized that I hate having to fill out an entire page every day. It irritates me. I don’t want to do it. So I’m going with a weekly page. And my life has different segments. I’m employed at a day job on top of my writing. I wanted both of these aspects in my personal planner pages. I can’t plan out a huge chunk of my day to the hour and minute since my job involves working with other people on time-sensitive projects. I’m interrupted several times a day with something that needs to be done at once, or an on-the-fly meeting is called to discuss a specific problem. This does not lend itself to planning out your day in hour segments as most planners encourage you to do. I’m lucky if I can get one major item finished each day with several small unimportant tasks done as well. So my planner only has room for a few main tasks. I wanted accountability toward my goals. Every day, I need to do something toward one of my goals and there’s room to list that as well. There’s even a place to keep track of daily habits I’m attempting to establish. The two most important things are what I’m grateful for and cool things I did during the week. I write down is something I’m grateful for each day. It makes me appreciate things more and makes me happier. I write down the cool things I did to remind myself that although I might not finish all my tasks and some of my goals are really far off, I’m still pretty awesome.

So here’s my personal planner page and how I use it. I’d recommend making one with what YOU want, although I have a PDF of mine if you’d like to try to use it.

Wish me luck!

 

 

Download a copy of Aidee's Planner Page

 

 




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