I don’t know about you, but making plans and writing lists are a huge part of my life. Whether that’s planning my work schedule for the week, making shopping lists, daydreaming about travels or organising trips away and get-togethers with my friends. I like to have plans in place and here’s why:
On a daily basis in work, I write down my goals for the day. I break down my workload into bite-size chunks and cross them off the list as I go along. Not only does this help me to remember everything I need to do, but it also helps me to recognise the progress I’m making, especially on the days when I feel de-motivated and sluggish. For me, it is a really effective way of managing my workload and my time. It’s something that I’ve been doing for a long time too – back to when I was nursing. As a student nurse on the wards, I would write out a list of everything I needed to do throughout the day. It usually ended up being quite a long list as I was working 12-hour shifts and had a lot to do. But without my list scribbled on a paper towel, I struggled to keep track of important things, like medication times. It soon became a regular and necessary part of my work pattern, which I carried through my career as a nurse. I even encouraged other student nurses to try it as a method of keeping on top of their work responsibilities.
After my career change, I discovered that this method of mine actually complimented my new job too. After all, event planning requires good organisation and time-management skills and I had developed and honed mine to perfection. Once again, I found myself making lists and setting out goals and plans for each event I managed. And it worked really well. Clearly writing out what had to be done got things off my mind, clearing space for me to think about other tasks. As my old colleagues would know, I soon started trying to bring them around to my way of thinking, planning and making lists. The office whiteboard became my blank canvas for event plans – a space that everyone could refer back to and know exactly what was happening at each event. And that seemed to work too – for weddings, theatre productions, conferences and more! It turned out that using this method meant that all of the staff were “singing from the same hymn sheet” and working well together as a cohesive and efficient team.
I also started making schedules for managing social media platforms in work, helping me to decide what to distribute and when. By this point, my lists had developed since my nursing days. In fact, they changed for events too. I would have a pre-event checklist, during the event checklist and post-event checklist. This seemed to work better than having every hour of my shift written down with notes next to them. However, for social media management, I found that a calendar style plan worked best. I’m always trying different ways of creating my lists and plans. Some of them work for certain tasks, others don’t. Maybe one day I will find the perfect solution – One plan to fit all!
So now you know why I am a big fan of lists and plans in the World of work. But there’s more to it than that! I have discovered that I like to be organised. Partly because I am very forgetful (and writing things down helps me out), but also because making plans gives me things to look forward to. I am making an effort this year to make plans to do exciting things throughout the year. My diary has come in very handy for this and it is gradually filling up with all sorts of fun things.
Many people suffer from the January blues, but in my attempt to avoid this sad and tiresome feeling, I have made plans to look forward to. It is getting me through the dull days of January and I’m counting down the days until my first adventure of 2017! It all kicks off in February when I will be jetting off to Iceland, Niagara Falls and New York for a Winter wonderland experience. so of course, I’ve been busy making plans and putting together an itinerary for my trip. It’s still a work in progress, but it is safe to say that I am very excited and I’m sure I will be writing all about it soon!!! And my planning doesn’t end there. My 2017 diary is already filling up with concerts, theatre and music festivals. But bear in mind that these are only my concrete plans! I have an entirely different idea for all of the dreams and plans still inside my head.
As of January 1st, I started my very own bullet journal to help me plan for the weeks, months and year ahead. It’s a simple concept and I like it. I started off with a blank book and dedicated the first 4 pages to the year ahead. Each page has three months on it, where I have recorded a basic overview of important dates (like birthdays) or plans I’ve made. Following on from my year overview, I have created monthly overviews. Each month has space for writing down any important tasks that need to be done that month (for example sorting out my travel money in January). I can make and record plans ahead of time but it is also flexible, allowing me to dedicate pages here and there to making lists of all of the places I want to visit and the things I want to see and do. Apart from making plans, every day, before going to bed, I write down at least one bullet point about something positive that happened in my day. It is a great way to keep my glass half full, because even if I have a bad day, there is always a little ray of sunshine in there too. Whether that’s having a cuddle with my dog, taking some me-time to read my book, catching up with friends or achieving something new in work. And if I’m ever feeling down, I can read back through it and smile at all of life’s little wonders!
So all in all, my “New Years Resolution” is to keep up with my bullet journal and continue making plans and lists throughout 2017, because not only does it help me, but it puts a little smile on my face along the way!