I’m the worst Type 3. As The Achiever, I have aspirations spread out all over the living room floor. And yet I have a love hate relationship with planning. Planning to me seems too committed because I’m very flexible with life. Or maybe adaptable is a better term?
I think of myself as a selective planner. When it comes to meetings and events, yes I find it easy to have it set on a calendar. But I can’t remember a time where I was actually dedicated to a “planner.” I tried the bullet journal method, however it wasn’t completely for me. Yet I have an affair with 3 inch tall to-do list tablet. I get such joy in scratching things off the to-do list. After almost 3 decades of living, I think I have finally done it and perfected a planning style for me. Planning for the Non-Planner.
How Did I Come About this Method?
I like to be put together, but not 100% organized. Being 100% organized makes me incredibly anxious because my perception is it’s too permanent. Seriously, I have spent years trying to handle the way life will throw curve balls and how to appropriately respond to them. After many therapy sessions I have come to a personal method of moving with life when it doesn’t go according to plan. I really manifested in change is the only thing we can rely on.
I took every planning method I have tried and eliminated everything I hated about those planning methods, so I am left with only the things I love. Seems like common sense right? Yet almost ground breaking? Then I added the achiever aspect to it.
- The large pages.
- The ability to write things down
- The ability to scratch things off
- Reflect on accomplishments
- They can lay everything out nicely
- Everything stays together
- COMMITMENT – on days where I don’t accomplish anything of value, it points that out and makes me depressed. Or if I skip a day of planning it makes me very uneasy.
- I can’t always plan the long term or the lifetime term
- Too permanent.
- Creative piece
- Flexibility and adaptability of it
- Combines planning with journaling
- You can plan on multiple plains; short term, long term, lifetime, weekly, daily, etc.
- Self-Catered; only you need to care because it’s your journal
- Time consuming
- Hard to keep up; it does take dedication and with my busy life it just doesn’t always happen
To Do lists
- Structured because of the bullet point format
- I can scratch things off and tear the entire sheet once I finish it (I work retail and we tear voided receipts so anything in the general shape I tear by habit)
- That little bit of glue that stands tall as you finish more and more to-do lists
DISLIKES – Nothing really, except not accomplishing everything? However that goes into the concept of life doesn’t always happen the way you plan.
As a side thought, I have a crazy obsession with Post – It Notes. More to come on that.
My Method: Selective Planning
Taking all of these pros and cons I humbly present to you, the Selective Planning Method or the Non-Planning Method; call it what you want because that’s the point! For the creative aspect I so love about Bullet Journaling, I create planning sheets on my iPad using a variety of design softwares. I make a short term, long term and lifetime sheets designed for planning, then a “me page” for journaling. This gives me the structure of a planner, yet the flexibility of bullet journaling. This also solves the challenge of getting depressed on days I don’t accomplish something, because it allows me to look at a bigger picture.
Another key habit I do is I keep a log of all my accomplishments. This strategy lets me see everything I do as an accomplishment rather than a thing I have to do. This also Since I’m planning on multiple time frames it makes it easier to not have a daily to-do list. Think affinity diagrams for everyday life and more compact because it’s in a smaller format.
On to the post it note affair. How I combat the “pen is too permanent” ideal is I write EVERYTHING on full sized post its, but I trim them to the size of the text written. Then if I don’t finish what’s on there, I move it to a different day or time frame.
Allow me to provide a basic sketch:
Sheet A is my short term or long term page. I typically use these for a week, 2 weeks, up to a month or two! Long term I define as 6 months to a couple years. You notice kept the headings in the present sense. This is because I personally like to live in the moment and keep it in the present tense helps me keep that mindset.
Sheet B is for the lifetime, and that can honestly be for anything. These are things I want to experience in my life in general ranging from things in my personal life, in my family life, even career aspirations. Experiences, journeys, adventures, trips, things I want to do.
Sheet C, is things that make me happy; it’s that journaling sheet I mentioned earlier. Things that bring me joy in the things that I don’t want to do. WHen I need to recenter myself and reaffirm why I’m doing what I do, this is the resource.
You’ll see I use the term “Self Investing”. Everything I do, I do for me and because I want to, as opposed to society, a person, whatever it may be. Taking ownership and creating my own empowerment is one way I self invest. These things are bringing me joy and peace.
This method is what’s worked for me. Will I evolve this? Probably. Stay tuned