I’m a huge proponent of planning and planners. I’ve tried a couple of different kinds, I even dabbled with the bullet journal that has been taking the internet by storm, but I always come back to an hourly planner. It helps me see my entire day in a glance. This year, I invested in a super fancy planner that I’d had my eye on for a few years that not only had an hourly plan for each day, but spaces for weekly and monthly goals, monthly re-evaluation, and plenty of space for writing.
However, at least for me, with all the different pages and little spaces, it became overwhelming. I felt like I had to put the exact things in the exact little boxes and some of the boxes had such similar labels that I didn’t know where to put what.
Now, some of you may say, “Well, just put what you want in whatever box.” Unfortunately for me, I am very type A and I like order in many places of my life so I can be flexible in other places. Not only that, but I didn’t like how much I had to “fill out” for my monthly goals and monthly rewind and I found myself spending more time on my planner than actually doing what I was writing in my planner.
About April, I stopped looking at my planner altogether. I haven’t not looked at my planner every day since high school.
Even though planners and making goals and such are great, when my anxiety hits me really hard, I try to plan every moment of every day. That combined with all the bits and bobs of this fancy planner (nothing against the planner), it got too much for me to handle.
For some people, not looking at a planner here and there or even at all works. For me, it really doesn’t. With my depression, anxiety, ADHD, and PTSD (I’m a cornucopia of issues–yay!) having things written down helps me stay, well, organized. It helps me understand what’s coming next so I can be prepared for it and also, help me plan out how I need to deal with things.
My anxiety and depression can often debilitate me, so I make sure I mentally prepared myself for events and also come up with action plans to face or, at times, leave, situations. And for my ADHD, obviously it keeps me on one track when needed so I can go to my own la la land and not worry about missing things because when I’m being a bit crazy, I know when I need to get my crap together so I can be a functional human being and contribute to society.
I also think there’s a problem with society/social media showing everyone making their plans and goals and showing them off and showing how they accomplished them. Frankly, not everyone has the kind of time to draw in their months and also to do everything they want to do. I work all day every day. And on the days I’m not at work, I’m running errands. And one of the last things I want to do after cleaning, errand-ing, working, is to do anything at all.
I’m ranting a bit . . . my point is (sorry it’s been a while since I’ve blogged!) that, you don’t need to have a bunch of little boxes that tell you what to do and you don’t need. Goals are great and I highly suggest writing them down, but you don’t need to fill them out every single day. A simple to-do list is just fine.
I think we need to get out of our heads and stop trying to make this exact plan to get to an exact place, or we’re going to forget to enjoy the journey.
I will always have planners, and I will always have a million to-do lists and goals for my life. But I need to let myself be okay when I don’t have time to get them done or choose to make time for something else.
It’s halfway through 2019, and if your life doesn’t exactly as you planned it, that’s okay. Recalibrate, renew, and then just relax. Life isn’t about constant control. It’s about going with the flow.