The Crazy Suburban Mom: Note to self.... Get off the couch

Monday, September 17, 2012

Note to self.... Get off the couch

I spend more time planning then doing.  It's a problem. I plan so extensively there's no time left over to actually get anything done.  

 I know planning is good, even Winston Churchill thought so.  His famous saying, 'Failing to plan is planning to fail'  is the Holy Grail of planning statements to many.  

But I do plan. Oh, do I plan.. But nothing was really working.

I posted a  Tweet  last week about this, it's been on my mind a lot I guess....

And that is my problem in a nutshell; planning isn't doing.  

I really enjoy the process of using a Filofax ; from the binders themselves to turning the pages, I'm hooked.   But I can't spend so much time in the planning phase that I never move beyond thinking about getting stuff done.

 While planning points me in the direction of #Done, it doesn't move me closer to it. Finishing requires active participation, movement... an end game.   Which brings me to this tweet:

Reaching goals (and finishing tasks) requires three things; planning, doing and an end.   This was on my mind all last week as  I watched myself move to-do's farther down the week, day after day.  Each daily list got longer and longer and by this morning the to-do list  was so long I was ready to bag the day and go back to bed. 

Without a time frame  my to-do list is more a running commentary on my life and not a step in the direction of streamlining.  

As an aside,  I have a problem with not completing things  in a timely manner.  Tasks I loathe I  do in parts so they drag on forever.  I hate unloading the dishwasher so I do a few dishes at a time.   It feels never ending that way...

Same issue with the laundry; there's the thinking about doing it, the sorting, the washing, the drying and the dreaded putting it all away.  That's usually wear I stall.

Things end up on my dresser, folded and ready to be put away for... um, days if I'm being honest.

This morning I made myself some rules and made them my first  Filofax page, front and center.

And because intending to follow the rules is as bad as planning without doing, I took my own advice.  I did a few things I needed to do, totally finished them all and crossed them off the list.

It's before 11 a..m and I got more things done  in the last few hours  then I did all last week.   And the two things I was really dreading took less then 20 minutes to cross off.   And I wrote this post besides.

#Notetoself:  Just get off the couch and do  it.


LJ 9/17/12, 11:36 AM  

What do you mean washing isn´t done until it´s put away? Dang girl, I´ve been doing it all wrong!!! Ha ha ha!!! Mine all goes on the airer and most of it frequently gets used directly from there before I get round to puting it away :o)

LJ 9/17/12, 11:38 AM  

And as for planning... isn´t that an Olympic event? We really have to actually do everything as well? I´m not liking these ideas... :o)

Tracy Reinhardt 9/17/12, 12:09 PM  

I do the same thing with clean laundry - It sits in piles for days and more often then not it dwindles as someone needs it... I was going to add that but the post was getting loooong! So I totally hear you... And PS - glad it's not just me that gets stalled at doing


Amanda (from Paper, Pens and Ink) 9/17/12, 2:32 PM  

Have you ever tried sand-timers? You do a task just for x minutes. 9/10 times, once you've got going, you'll keep going. I have a 30 minute sand-timer (but have worked with students and used 2 minute, 5 minute, 10 minute and 15 minute ones) and I say I will work on task X until the sand-timer has run out. This means I a) I usually focus on just one task and take it to #done; b) gets me over the barrier to starting which usually means I keep going on my to-do list because I feel good about having got stuff done.
Just a thought...?

Alison 9/17/12, 3:26 PM  

I'm with you on this one, my laundry never gets put away!!! There is so much i'm planning to do that there is no time to actually do it, I waste so much time in a day :(

Tracy Reinhardt 9/17/12, 3:49 PM  

Amanda - I have tried it but didn't stick with it. I may try it again though, I'd forgotten about doing that. As I recall the timer was a point of focus for me...

Alison - I seriously right now have stuff in the dryer. It never ends... but I'm going to go put it away.

Really. Swear


LJ 9/17/12, 4:00 PM  

Ah heck!!! That's just reminded me of all the socks that are sat in the dryer from Saturday (I rarely use the dryer, and when I do it's all socks and I hate pairing them up afterwards) - bleurgh!!!

Josh 9/17/12, 10:16 PM  

We don't own a dryer, and frequently have clothes drying on racks. I find this super convenient, and have advocated just leaving things on racks in a spare bedroom. When dressing, I just remove what I want to wear directly from the rack. Juan thinks I'm totally nuts and hates when I do this, but I say "EFFICIENCY!"

LJ 9/18/12, 10:28 AM  

Liking your style Josh :o)

MySummerTouch 9/18/12, 4:34 PM  

This is just the question of self-motivation. I'm like you somethimes. When I have a lot of work to do, I have done more than when I have NOT so much work.
That is why I have a binder that I call Filofax, it is the EXACT replica of Filofax (can't afford one and I live too far away). I have 2 sheets for a day. On one I write my to-dos. On another I write what I've done (I put time with each thing that I did), and then I compare. So, the second sheet is my motivation to have things done because I don't want to see a blank page or a sign "Watched movies the whole day"!

Morag 9/19/12, 5:40 AM  

Sounds just like me! I spend so long planning my filofax, what tabs to have, what should be in each section, etc that I never actually READ IT!! So I never get anything done (except plan my organisation)but I don't even finish that! haha

Sharon Korkes 10/1/12, 10:01 PM  

I think I could have written this post (but I'm too busy procrastinating, so thank you). You are so right. I do too much planning and not enough doing. What is up with that?!

Shabby Vintage Junk 10/7/12, 12:43 AM  

Oh Traci I SO RELATE to this....The amount of transferring of TO DO's I do is RIDICULOUS....I'm going to take a leaf out of your Filofax & ensure I work on the TO DO's that send me into procrastination mode as a PRIORITY....!!!!!

As always, THANKS for the GREAT advice....!!

Tamarah :o)

PS: Have just returned from the US....WISH I'd been closer so we could have met for a coffee....!! NEXT time....!!

Shabby Vintage Junk 10/7/12, 12:48 AM  
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