Tuesday, October 2, 2012
I like to think of myself as a go-with-the-flow, let-the-day-take-you-where-it-may kind of gal. I realize that there are many people who would not describe me in this way at all, so please don't laugh if you are one of these people! I kinda like to have an agenda when entertaining out-of-town guests, I want to know all the options of a movie's start times, and I feel better knowing what's on the dinner menu. I am a Planner.
Before I moved for grad school, my week was very structured and unchanging. I was always off on Sundays and Thursdays, and I spent Sundays relaxing and Thursdays Getting Stuff Done. I loved this arrangement, but I hated not having weekends to spend with my friends and family. I missed so many cookouts, brunches, camping trips, and community events and it was such a bummer. I vowed when I started grad school I'd be done with wonky schedules (well, and retail, but that's a story for another day). Little did I know how wonky a schedule could get!
Moving, starting a new job, and beginning a graduate program all together created a Defining Moment of my twenties. It was lucky I was so energized by the prospect of meeting new people, trying my hand at a different work pace, and taking supercool classes because...I never slept. A few months of this and I was officially best friends with my tidy moleskin planner. (This is the time in my life when I started sprouting gray hairs). I am very proud of myself for pushing through this awful adjustment and keeping most of my wits about me!
Last semester I was taking more classes than before (and still working full time with haphazard scheduling) and went a little nuts organizing my schedule. I basically began planning every minute of every day in an attempt to control the chaos around me, and ultimately would be left feeling low about myself for not sticking to the plan. I would even schedule in "breaks" and meals and showers, and list suggestion times for going to bed at night depending on what time I was to be at work! Before you start thinking I am some sort of control freak, you have to understand some days I go to work at 7am, some days at 9am, some days at noon, and some days at 6am. All in one week! Add to that a full-time class load with all the reading, writing, and physical in-class time. So!
I decided to take this semester off and focus on my actual work, my personal goals, cultivating my relationships, and...not being so busy! Best decision ever. But I'm still over here a-planning!
I like structure. I love checking things off my list. And I LOVE reaching a goal! A month or so ago I realized I am at my best and can achieve my goals faster with a little forethought. So far, so good! More on this later!
One of the things I now do is create a chalkboard calendar at the beginning of every month, and the first thing I put down is my work schedule. After that, I have a clear picture of where my free time is and then plan from there how to spend that time, which is so much more fun when I don't have to account for classes or studying! Whee! It's also helpful in showing where I have time to plan for visits with the boyfriend, who lives out of town. I cannot even begin to describe how huge it is for me to be able to visually see when we're next going to be able to spend time together!
This was intended to be a short, generalized post about planning. Someone else can quote "To a Mouse" and finish this out for me.