Wednesday, October 19, 2011

[WoD] Plan Ahead

Today I want to discuss something that I ought to work on myself.And that's planning. There's a lot of stuff going on that is out of our hands. However, there's quite a bit of stuff that we can manage ourselves, and with a bit of planning, we can try to wrestle with it and get it all under control.

I firstly want to point out that this should be taken as ambiguous advice. Take it and make it mean whatever you want it to mean. If you would rather not plan out that much, go ahead and be adventurous. If you want to be an organizational robot, go ahead and try that too. I'm hoping to find a spot somewhere in the middle where I can have some wiggle room for myself.

Let's look at the stuff that's out of our hands. Work is probably one of the biggest things to plan around. But you do know when you work, and you know when you don't. You can't just stop and say "I'm not going into work today." Well, you can if you work for yourself or have a very friendly boss, but not all of us are that lucky.

Holidays are another thing that we'll have to plan around. There are only two major holidays coming up between now and the first of December. those are halloween and Thanksgiving. Both of which are pretty big holidays. Halloween lands on a Monday this year, which means many communities will probably move Beggar's Night to either Friday or Saturday since they won't want to have it on a school night. Just make sure to find out when Beggar's Night is in your community so you can take your kids out or pass out candy. That's always something fun to do.

Thanksgiving is another one that will probably have to be planned around. This year Thanksgiving falls on November 24th, so start your planning now. Call who you're gathering with and start making arrangements. Who's doing the cooking? Who's in charge of preparing the house? It'd be best to get this all out of the way than to wait for it to suddenly arrive and have no plan of action.

And whether you're doing Thanksgiving at your place with only your small nucleic family or going to another place to give thanks with you parents and/or friends, you can bet that there will be a lot of tim traveling. Whether you're the driver or a passenger, it's not easy to be productive when in a car.

The day after Thanksgiving is always a tough day: Black Friday. Without a doubt, there will be people camping out to take advantage of the many sales being offered. If you are one of those people, this might have to be something that you have to plan around. Sometimes it's better to get the deal right away rather than to wait. There's only one month between Black Friday and Christmas this year. Get your holiday shopping done if it means that much to you.

Do you meet with your family or friends during the week at all? When I was living in Sweden I would meet a group of friends twice a week for role playing. Although this may seem like a trivial thing, don't kick it to the curb. It's good to get out of the house/apartment once in a while and to socialize with a different group of people. And though they'd most likely be understanding if you had to skip out on a gathering once or twice, try not to make it a habit. Remember why you do it in the first place.

It's important to look into stuff like this because only when seeing the big picture do you begin to realize how little time you have for anything else. And like the last post, you could imagine your time like money. The things you do more are the things that are more precious to you. Perhaps you would be able to cut a few minutes here and there, but don't get rid of them (unless it's a thing you don't want to be doing anyways). But those tiny gaps of time that you have, those could be the times when you find time to do what you need to do to get what you want done.

These gaps would be the place to give time to yourself. You need to make sure you have time to plan. Do you like to plan once a month? Once a week? Once a day? Whatever the frequency, make sure you have time for it. For me, it'll be important to find time to write. So, when I'm planning sitting and planning, I'll try to find areas where I might be able to settle down and write a little bit. And the most important part of all and do not forget it: Be sure to make sure you have some time to relax! And I'm not just talking about sleeping at night. Giving yourself some breaks throughout the day. If you plan them out, you'll more likely stick to the amount of time you have allotted to them.

But how to stick to this? I would recommend getting a scheduler of some sort. A calendar would be the minimum. A weekly or daily planner would work best though. Or even one or two of them if you want to keep your writing life (in my case) separated from your "real" life. It might be more work, and you would have to keep an eye on both schedules to make sure to find no overlapping time.

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