Friday, April 25, 2014

Free For All Friday No 32: See where the day takes you

I came across an interesting phrase the other day. Someone said they like to "see where the day takes me."  It made me realize I almost never do that anymore. Like the good little planning person all the productivity articles tell me to be, I plan out each day in a fair amount of detail to make sure I will be Productive, because Productivity is the Goal. Or is it?

Don't get me wrong, I'm not about to throw my planner in the river and go skipping along on my way to chaos (which is where I would be without my planner).

But it did make me think, I don't do that nearly often enough. Sometimes I need to just go along in my day without worrying too much about what I Should Be Doing at every moment, and just see where the day takes me.

Do you ever do that?

And as always on Fridays, feel free to discuss and/or ask anything planner related!

12 comments:

  1. You know, some days I hyper plan, other days I don't; some days which are hyper-planned derail early on and never get back on track. Some unplanned days are productive. My life is like that. My energy and focus is so unpredictable.

    More than planning up the whazoo, I need to develop strategies to mitigate excessive procrastination. I don't see all procrastination to be a bad thing per se; questioning the value of doing something for a day or two or even a week is ok, and sometimes I realize that I *don't* actually need to do it. But I need to keep myself from falling into an abyss of getting-nothing-done. I can hyper-focus on something and it can make it incredibly difficult to get ANYTHING done, including totally non-negotiable tasks which simply must get done. I also have days when I just have so much to do the only way I can manage it is to hyper-plan-the-f*$k out of that day so I just autopilot through everything in order and miss nothing.

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    1. Josh I know what you mean about those super-busy days, I do that too where I just write everything down and check each thing off as I go so I can focus on what I'm doing and not trying to remember steps or sequences of what I'm supposed to do next. I work best when I think about it all ahead of time, write it down and follow the plan. But as I said in my comment to MiataGrrl, it's a fine balance between having a good plan for the day and being a slave to my planner!

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  2. You can always write "be spontaneous" on your to-do list each day! ;-) Actually, the past few years, I have left more room in my schedule for seeing where the day takes me, and I'm happier for it. Using a weekly planner instead of a daily planner has helped a lot in that way -- more room for flexibility.

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    1. Wow, thank you for pointing that out. I needed to see that perspective.

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    2. MiataGrrl that's a good point about day per page vs weekly planners, and I realize now that's why I have to use a weekly planner. My days are fairly unpredictable, and I need to see where I can fit things in during the week. Also I realized, during my latest attempt at using a day per page diary as my planner, that when I use one I tend to over-plan my days, which causes me to be a slave to my planner, constantly checking it to see what I should be doing every minute of the day. Tedious!

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  3. My day is already so planned out because I'm a career counselor and I take appointments all day. I have to plan administrative time and lunch or I'll end up scheduling someone in those slots. I keep a monthly calendar in my bullet journal because I have private clients I see on the side, after work. My non-work life is not very planned. I try to keep my weekend limited to no scheduling or very limited, maybe one activity. I do keep a 'To Do' list in my bullet journal to make sure I do get things done that need it, like my move next month, for example. I'm applying for Ph.D programs at the end of the year so I have timelines of when I have to study for the GRE, take the GRE, start applications, make payments, and contact references. I try to keep track of all the details in my 'To Do' lists and have a monthly overview of what's going on in my life. I love lists. :) They help keep me flexible because I can always push them to the next day. What matters, is that I cross them off. :)

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    1. I agree Becky, sometimes just being able to cross off all those to-dos is an adventure! Sounds like you are super busy!

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    2. Yes, it's kind of ridiculous right now! Thank goodness for my bullet journal!! And thank goodness for you and Plannerisms for introducing me to it! :)

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  4. I plan in blocks - morning, afternoon and evening. Sometimes I leave space open if I'm not sure what's going on. And if I can't get something done, as long as it isn't a MUST DO, I don't worry about it. I feel like I'm pretty good about being productive but flexible at the same time. But I'm home full-time and don't have kids at home anymore so it's easier than it used to be.

    I don't think everyone can "go where the day takes me". It depends on what season of life you're in and what your commitments are. But all of us need to be as flexible as we can be within our plans. Just my two cents.

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    1. Patty I agree it depends on what stage of life you're in. Before I had kids it was much easier to go out on a Saturday morning and just see where the day took me. Now most things are either planned, or met with resistance!

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  5. Hey! I need your opinion on which planner is best for me. I am looking for a large (like size of notebook) weekly planner. I have a slight preference for vertical columns, but ultimately it doesn’t matter. I will be a medical student next year, so I really need something with lots of space per day and on the month view. Any suggestions?? Thanks!

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    1. Hi CC, sounds like the Plannerisms Planner would be a compact option for you. It is 5 1/2 by 8 1/2 inches so it's very portable, has vertical columns for the days with space on the weekly pages for lists and notes, and monthly grid calendars with pages between each month for more lists and notes. You can see more about them if you click on Plannerisms Planners at the very top of this blog page. They are still available for 2014, if you are interested you can email me at Laurie at Plannerisms dot com. The 2015's will be available later this autumn.

      If you are looking for something bigger, the Uncalendar Full Size is 8 1/2 by 11 inches and has loads of writing space, vertical daily columns for the weekdays (blocks for weekend days), monthly grid calendars and notes pages. Uncalendar planners are undated so you can start them any time. They are available at www.uncalendar.com.

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