Monday, 3 September 2012

The art of a well planned life

Pile of notebooks
I've always been a bit uncertain about long term planning. While I love the idea of having a five year I know it's simply not for me. For starters I have trouble actually thinking where I want to be at that distance point. I have a terrible feeling that I'd get to my goal 5 years down the line and realise that I know wanted something else. We live in a dynamic world.

That said making a lifetime to do list has proved to be an interesting experience. Since following the advice in Getting Things Done I've been pleasantly surprised that I done things that I consider to be life experiences (for want of a better phrase) without even trying. I don't know if I've become better at spotting opportunities or just was doing things like this all the time and didn't notice.

However that doesn't mean that I don't like making plans. While I'm a bit more fluid in my approach to the long term, in the shorter term I like to be very clear about what I'm doing.

Over the summer I seemed to lose some of my regular routines. Weekends at picnics, car boot sales and music festivals ate up my organisation time. While part of me is horrified that my life revolves around Monday-to-Friday-9-to-5, I appreciate that it's as good a structure as any other. So I see weekends as a real opportunity to prepare for the week ahead.

And this morning I really reaped the benefits. Routines allow us get the stuff we need done and leave the brain to get on with being creative. So waking up to lunch ready to pack, clean ironed clothes, and not worrying about what on earth to eat for dinner was great.

It takes a very small amount of effort on a regular basis to keep routines ticking over. Little and often (on a great many projects) had better be my phrase for Autumn.

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