For years I semi-faithfully used my Franklin Covey compact planner with reasonable success. It wasn't perfect or even awesome but it worked well enough. Then life went crazy and I started experimenting. I've tried the Bullet Journal, DIY Fish Life Mapping (awesome system), an assortment of miscellaneous pages including quite a few from Planner Fun (also awesome), Mark Forster's Auto Focus, a little GTD, Filofax two pages per day, StrikeTh.ru, traveler's notebook using forms from Ray Blake (also great forms) and even plain old blank paper. I've even played around with iPhone apps including Wunderlist, Todoist, Task Labels and a bunch of others. But nothing is working.
So I had a conversation with my super organized husband and asked his opinion on what needs to be done. In a nutshell, he said:
"You need a written plan. When something comes up to de-rail you, take care of it and then get back on track. Without a plan, you're just drifting and you'll never get anything done."
What's interesting about this advice is that it's the advice I've always given other people. I've stressed over and over and over the importance of having a written plan. But somewhere along the way, I stopped making a plan. I decided it wasn't worth the effort since I couldn't follow it anyway.
Which brings us to another piece of advice my husband gives me often:
"You give up too easy."
He's right. I make a plan, and as soon as something comes up, instead of figuring out how to make my plan work, I give up and do none of it. What a dummy! If you break one egg, you don't throw the rest of the carton on the floor! If your plans get changed, you don't throw out the whole list! Well, I do but it hasn't been a very effective strategy!!!
So my new strategy is:
- Make a daily plan;
- Figure out how to make it work regardless of what life throws my way; and
- Get back on track as quickly as possible.
Now if I can just decide which format to use . . .