I feel like I write about organization and planning much more than I practice organization or planning. I’m not sure why this is. But I’ve always loved organizational tools – planners, calendars, index cards, binders. I’m on the hunt for the perfect system at all times, even though I know it doesn’t actually exist. Meanwhile, my calendar is either completely empty, or full of more events and activities than I can possibly attend as one complete entity. I’m having a hard time finding a balance where I’m productive and social and well-rested.
I found myself making a big goal mid-last week and taking some pretty awesome steps toward achieving it. Hooray, I’ve stuck with a plan for the better part of 4 days! And I’m looking forward to January of next year, which is the “deadline” I set for myself . . . and I wonder if I’ll make it or not. I’m kind of wondering whether I will sabotage myself, or if circumstance and schedule will get in my way. And will I be okay with that?
Previously, I’ve let fear of not-finishing prevent me from starting. So, if it’s okay with all of you, I’m going to celebrate the progress I’ve made already just by starting. Even talking about the fact that I have a goal is an improvement – because of this fear of self-sabotage, I usually don’t tell people so they won’t ask how whatever-it-is is progressing, so I won’t have to tell them I gave up 2 hours after I talked to them.
Achieving goals has a lot to do with the amount of time available. In this case, I’m less worried about circumstances getting in my way, because I’m actively looking for ways to build more time into my schedule. I’m scheduling white space (which I’ve talked about before) – a few slow mornings where I go into work a couple of hours late, allowing myself time to work on these personal projects during daylight hours. I have many opportunities to schedule these kinds of days between now and January. I’m really happy about that. Time won’t be a factor.
Except…. for that thing where I sabotage myself. Every time I think I’ve carved out time for success, I add extra things to my schedule. This fall, I’m teaching a Bible study and attending one with a ton of homework, plus working full time, plus trying to juggle personal projects and normal family life. I have recently added a new crochet project into the personal project mix, which has a short deadline. And because it’s the newest, shiniest thing in front of me, and has to be finished the soonest, I want to put aside everything else to work with the yarn.
I have a hard time balancing a number of priorities all at once. I don’t know if I’ve always been like this, or if committing to things is just new for me. I don’t know if I’ve always been an all-or-nothing type of person. But in this season of my life, I definitely am. I’m not sure how to get around it. I don’t have a list of 4 tips to help YOU prioritize and do everything all at once, although if you have something like that, please share it with me!!
I guess in the meantime, I’ll set the alarm a little earlier, drink a little more coffee, and try to give myself grace – setting the deadlines for myself is a great start, but they are my deadlines. Ultimately, I have the power to update them as necessary, and I need to give myself permission to do so.