The Crazy Suburban Mom: 2013-03-10

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Consistently gobsmacked

I've had a lot of people comment on how consistent I am with my Filofax recently.  How I use the  same binder for ages without changing, and for that matter stick with the same set up, and try to use up my office supplies before buying more.   It's got me thinking...

Why do I do that?  

I've come up with a few reasons besides the obvious one (financial) but the whys aren't really that important when I look at the result of being consistent.   First,  consistency isn't a natural skill for me; I love change!  Just sticking with one thing (...Anything!)  over time is a major life goal.  Knowing I've made some headway with consistency in at least one part of my life (I still rearrange my furniture way too often) is a major coup.

Filofax a5 compared with a Midori Traveler's Notebook

Second, staying with the same planning system over time keeps the inflow of stuff at bay which is an enormous help.  I'm no where near clutter-free despite my constant  attempts.  Clutter is a daily frustration  but it was worse when I purchased every magic organizing pill that promised peace from my scattered existence    I have more  stickers then I can use in a year, more Post-It notes then I could use in five years, and more colored pencils then I could use up in a lifetime!  It's gobsmackking to realize my magic organizing pills have become part of the problem.


And third, maintaining the same planning system for a period of time allows me to know what works and what doesn't. The keys to an ordered life ( and staying there ) elude me, my brain doesn't speak ordered....   The only thing that works is trial and error.   But because the whole concept is so foreign to my way of thinking,  no matter what I do it feels wrong, at first.


 I default to the 'error' half of that equation before I ever gave it a 'trial'.  I've  planned and made set ups galore but when I tried to implement each perfect system it was like looking in a fun house mirror; disordered and nonsensical.

car filofax

So for all these reasons, I have to stick with something beyond the knee-jerk initial reaction of,  I hate it!  Committing to  something for a set period of time (even a short one) is crucial because it gets  me past, I hate it!  It takes me at least a week before I can look at a new set up and see anything other then scribble-scrabble...  And sometimes much longer.


 Ultimately some things end up working, others... Not so much, but without giving all of the ideas a chance to root I'll never be able to find the gems.

personal portland filofax


Monday, March 11, 2013

Going backwards to move foward

Planners and diets have a lot in common;  both hold huge appeal because they promise what you want.  In the case of diets,  a simplified way to a better body and an ordered life in the case of planners.   All diets work if you work them and the same can be said for planners.  So I have to ask myself, "Why am I not thin and organized? "


Why isn't everyone?

Oddly, I think they both fail for the same reason...  A lack of consistency.   I get restless.  I change things up.  I come up with of a million ways to improve what doesn't need improving and the next thing I know my weight is moving in the wrong direction  and my planner isn't as much a life tool  as a repository for washi tape.


 It would be major if this insight ultimately helped me sort out my  disordered weight and life, but knowing why things happen doesn't necessarily lead to success.    One small change  leads to the next... And the next.    A few weeks and tweaks down the road, I'm looking at an entirely new set of inserts and dessert after every meal feels reasonable.


I don't know how to alter my automatic  inclination towards change,  it's natural to me.   I don't do well with hard and fast rules, they make me itch.  Boredom seems to creep in even when things are going well.  But I'm exploring ways to keep things at a successful status quo.


Ways to remind myself what I'm doing, why I'm doing it, hopefully find  ways to keep on keeping on and stop chipping away at the successes.  I'm sure consistency is the key but for someone who gets bored easily that's a toughie.


Perhaps successful planning and dieting are always  works in progress (and I can deal with that) but the yo-yo good days/bad days thing is a lot like riding a stationary bicycle.  Spinning your wheels is great exercise but not successful if what you really need is to get from Point A to Point B.


 In the past when I was at Max Frustration I'd revamp everything.  I'd seek out a whole new diet, look for a new Filofax (or twelve because if one is good, twelve is better.... ) and buy more office supplies then I could use in a lifetime.   In retrospect, this heralded the beginning of the end.


Perhaps innovation isn't (always) looking to the future, maybe there's something to be said for examining the last time I was successful -  And work backwards.  Theoretically what worked yesterday should work today, and tomorrow.  And next year...

Bejeweled #filofax to do list

I can't promise I will stop tweaking entirely, change is invigorating.  But successful things are successful for a reason.


So just for today... I'm going to  move forward by looking backwards.


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