Organization and Planning – A Reset

This writing is somewhat related to today’s prompt (technically yesterday’s I guess, but “today” based on when I wrote “today”) from the ever awesome DeskPM Community – which I am working to reintegrate as part of my daily routing – but has been on my mind for a while now.

For the longest time, I’ve struggled to get, and more importantly, stay organized. Actually, that’s not quite true. I can always manage to get organized. Over time and multiple attempts, I’ve come up with a great number of deeply involved and thought out systems to organize many aspects and elements of my life. To a point that it’s been referred to as “anal” and “OCD”. Those who’ve known me for a while are certainly shocked by this statement. As shocked as they may be to be told that water is actually wet, and fire, surprisingly, is hot!

The problem is, no matter how much time and effort I put forth in getting organized, and coming up with insane systems with a random but carefully thought out system, it doesn’t stick. One of the issues is that, coming up with a great number of rules and assignments which can fit every scenario, is that every scenario is a special scenario in and of itself. There is no way to have a “95% this way” rule, or even an “80/20” rule.

This leads to the “stack/pile” organization system, which is to have piles and stacks of stuff everywhere. Every so often, stacks get shuffled into logical groupings, but often, even that fails. So this invariably leads to putting off and deferring making decisions on things which should, in all likeliness, have been done before even getting in the door!

So, this time, because things have gotten to be “too much” all over again, I’m getting organized anew, but this time, in a simpler, more efficient way. At least as far as my time and scheduling are concerned.

Primarily, rather than use and rely on a great number of “automated” or “electronic” systems, which , I’ve found an analog organization method, thanks to Kara, called the Bullet Journal. After checking it out, it is fairly similar to a notebook system I used ages ago, before smart phones and digital organizers and planners took over.

The way my old system worked, by comparison to the Bullet Journal, was that in a notebook, more or less A5 sized, each day would get a page. So today would be on the first page. Anything that I needed to get done would be written on that day. When I had it done, I’d cross it out. If I didn’t get to it, I’d put an arrow next to it, to indicate it was sent to the following day.

And as an additional helpful resource, starting on the last page, and moving back toward the front of the book, would be my contacts. Co-workers, friends, relatives, services (banks, lenders, etc). This worked well for many, many years, but as soon as I got an electronic “equivalent” (the Dell Axim X51v PDA), I ditched it. And things have never been the same, or as good – long term at least. And the more options and sync features available, which you’d think would provide an improvement in the overall sitatuation, the more the status quo was entrenched.

So, while late in the year, and far behind on my original plan for a cleanse, which was nearly a year ago, and despite setbacks which were mostly self-inflicted, I am steadfast in moving forward, and improving my situation and condition.

Now, onto task #1, which predates this and several other electronic systems: read “Getting Things Done”. Seriously, if David Allen was able to come out with a 2nd edition in all that time, surely even I can get done with reading it! I’ll work on the 2nd edition though. Clearly, I’ve missed the boat on reading my copy of the first edition!