I’ve become what I never wanted to be: An intense planner keeper. I’ve always been a bit of a free spirit, and if I need to schedule something, I’ll usually remember it.
But, about two and a half years ago, I was sitting at home one day realizing that I wasn’t getting anything done in my life because I hadn’t made any goals or lists for myself.
So, that’s where I began.
I was working from home at the time, trying to get my name and work out to publications. I was having the hardest time staying on track. My very cute dog kept distracting me with her big, brown eyes. Survivor episodes needed to be watched.
In short, my ability to stay on task was pretty much non-existent. So, for the first week, I made myself a simple check list of everything I needed to do in a day: Walk the dog, so she’d be content to let me work a bit; tidy up my workspace; research publications to send images to.
My next week began to get more detailed, with time sketched out specifically for when I should start making dinner and how long I had to goof off before I had to settle in and get to work. Three weeks into list making and planning, I realized I needed a planner.
I went to the store and bought a very non-descript cheap planner, just something to help me out with making my lists. That planner is still mostly empty, sitting in my desk at home. It just didn’t move me to use it. I tried using my calendar on my phone, and ran into the same wall.
I kept using my sticky notes instead, papering my desk with the colorful sheets of paper. I still wasn’t truly organized, but I was writing it down, and that’s all that mattered to me.
A few months later, I made a large purchase, a very nice planner with a black leather cover. I was determined to use this planner to jump start some organization skills.
It worked. It worked a little too well. I suddenly became obsessed with putting things in my planner and crossing them off when I had finished. I suddenly needed stickers and decorative tapes to make my pages shine. I suddenly needed gel pens to make my drawings come to life on the pages I was writing in.
And then my friend sent me a fountain pen and another planner with the smoothest Japanese paper I had ever had the experience of writing on. I ended up buying a journal full of that beautiful paper.
Last November, I got a jump start on my 2018 planner needs by purchasing two Japanese ones and a new one with a leather cover.
I have three planners for three different facets of my life, where two and a half years ago, I was using sticky notes to help me to remember what I needed to do when.
I forgot one of my planners the other day when I came in for work, and felt lost the whole day. It’s a little silly to me to think how much of my life is wrapped up in those books, but now I cannot imagine my life without a plan.