I have been told recently that I hate to plan. I think this is ubiquitous with most of us. I am just one of those people who will put my heart to do something with persistence and determination when I set myself to do so. My view is that some things require planning while others do not. For example, if I decide to travel, planning is essential. I do not like to arrive somewhere foreign to find that I am stuck without money because all the bureau de change is closed. If I wake up on a Sunday, I like to be able to laze around an extra hour and then see how I feel before I decide how to spend the day. However, as we are coming close to the end of 2013, I like to take this time to reflect on what I have done and not completed thus far. I am a person who likes to lay down tasks and projects that I would like to do and achieve (though might not always complete them as priorities shift). Planning, I believe, is very individual and every one of us has different ways of doing so. I found the following work best for me
Notebook (Moleskine) – I love this notebook and I must have scribbled lots of ideas, notes and things to do in it. To help me keep track of what I have written, I date my entries. Writing in the moleskine notebook means that I will never forget things and will get them done. There is a good feeling of satisfaction when one can strike off the things on a to-do list.
Calendar – I use my email calendar to remind me of things to do. As the calendar is also linked to my mobile phone, I get reminded more than once! Yes, it might, to some, over the top, but it keeps me on track. The only thing that is cumbersome here is that you do need to input the tasks into the calendar.
Pens – I always have at least 2 pens in my bag. Somehow it makes sense to me especially when I need to write things down. This works well with my notebook.
Self-discipline – This is something that I believe can be trained. It is about keeping to a routine you have set out for yourself. There is no one specific routine that everyone adopts. You need to try and see which one suits you best. My routine is to wake up at a specific time in the morning and be on my desk at 8am going through my emails and look at the task I need to perform for the day (reschedule if needed). Working on your own can be tough because of the different types of distraction. This is why I have chosen to do all the administrative work in the morning and will leave other work in the afternoon where I can focus more.
There you go. Some of you might share similar ways as me when it comes to planning while others have their own quirky way. Whatever it is, remember that planning ahead is so important. Do not procrastinate, it gets harder. Just put on your skates now and start planning for 2014!