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Planning Discoveries

Share your own “Eureka!” moments from your continuing journey toward optimized personal planning here or start a new post.

 

Back when I was an

Back when I was an engineering officer on a US Navy ship, I used to receive various orders and directives (chiefly from the Bureau of Ships) that were clearly not going to work out.  I took apart my IN-OUT box and added another tray: ACTION-HOLD.

When something clearly stupid showed up in the in box, I'd read it and move it to ACTION-HOLD.  When someone elsewhere tried it with the usual disastrous results, I'd take the new directive countermanding the old directive from the IN box, fish out the item in the ACTION-HOLD box, staple them together and put them in the OUT box.

Saved a lot of time and trouble that way.

Thanks, Captain Curmudgeon!

Thanks, Captain Curmudgeon!

This might sound silly, but

This might sound silly, but just organising my weekly shopping trolley, as we shopped, made life so much easier!

Whilst loading the trolley, I placed similar items together, thus at checkout we packed those items together.

So when at home  the task of sorting was already done all I had to do was put it away on the respective shelves/drawers in the kitchen!!

A little bit of planning for something as simple as that indeed went a long way.

The funny thing is,

The funny thing is, forever_vai, I do the exact same thing! If you can stay on top of it at check-out, it definitely helps the un-packing of groceries go a lot smoother!

My eureka moment came at a

My eureka moment came at a local thrift store (hey, recycle!) eight years ago. I was standing at the checkout line and behind me was a bin with an unopened box of the complete original compact system, all the forms, tabs, envelopes, an audio tape & booklet, everything but the binder, for $60. It was an impulse purchase and it changed my life.

I'm on year 20 of a five year plan to get organized. I'm sure that purchase shaved another couple of decades off the task. I'm a writer and a professor, and have been self-employed as well in my creative field throughout: I accumulate a lot of paper. I am not a planner. But I must. I like that quote: I "choose" to be a planner, rather than say I can't be a planner.

My husband was a middle-manager for a large financial firm and took seminars on the system. So, when I came home with the packet, he was amused to see me all excited about it. But, I listened to the tape, and I liked the idea that my little fat black book could be any world I designed. The single greatest task that changed my life, especially since soon after I was made department chair and advisor to 100 grad students, was keep all the paper in one place. My planner is color coordinated in sections and includes a fold-out notebook in the back. I also use the pages to brainstorm, just like I used to use journals (although I still keep separate writing notebooks). Some days are just for writing, and I find myself starting something on page, then using the old blank daily pages to continue. I keep the binders to then store these notes and ideas and drafts after the year is over.

The first time I used it I filled out the master page: "What is the one thing I can do that will change my life?" "Get organized!!!!" I wrote, but maybe with a few more exclamation marks and in caps. I lose money, I lose jobs, I lose time and for a writer, time is money; heck, I've lost friends and lovers, maybe even a pet by being disorganized.

My Franklin Planner changed my life.

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