Sunday, December 13, 2009

New Year, New Plans

Its coming close to that time again...not the 25th but the 31st! Are you ready? I starting to make plans to make my plan and its a task I look forward to every year!
We're all busy, creative people and it takes organization and forethought to accomplish the tasks and goals that we set for ourselves. I don't want to reach December and have to wonder what I did during the year and that I didn't do the things I planned.
So around the end of the year and close to the beginning of the new one I spend some hours getting The Plan in place! Its not a complicated or lengthy plan but I do spend a lot of thought and time to make certain that it works for me.
There are lots of books and strategies out there to help us and I admit to owning a few books and manuals on how to "make it my best year yet". I've added a list of possible books that you might consider at the end of this post.
My plan is a bit of 'this and that' I've compiled over the years, tweeking as I went along until I've created what I like to use. It might work for you or perhaps you'll get a couple of ideas to apply to your own plan.
I begin with a school type scribbler, I don't make the paper too precious so I don't want to scribble on it!
On the front page I write down all the categories of all that I do, professionally, around my home and community, they are not in any priority. The list might look like this:
  • teaching locally
  • teaching elsewhere
  • writing magazine articles
  • website
  • holidays
  • family and relationships
  • church and community
  • reading/self education
  • judging
  • art work
  • shows to enter
  • committed entries to make quilts

and so on...... make as many entries as you want

Now each entry gets one right hand page in the scribbler. And under each entry I'll list all the things I can think of that pertain to that entry. It could be something like this:

Teaching elsewhere

  • make certain web calendar is up to date
  • flights or travel plans to make and deadlines
  • supply lists to the sponsoring organizations
  • contact information up to date
  • extra supplies ordered and ready for shipping

and so on.....

On the left side of the page I will make a list by month of the places where I'm teaching and the above tasks that need to be done for each and their deadlines.

I can then transfer that information into my daily planner and know exactly what the status is on each task. I'm sure that the calendar on my computer, phone or in Outlook can do something similar but I like paper and being able to touch it and use a pencil.

Does anyone else have tips they use for keeping up with their plans and goals?

Helpful resources: I bought his book 'Getting Things Done' have found it very useful although geared for the office person.

Your Best Year Yet! by Jinny Ditzler

How to use Mind Maps

Now I have a couple of weeks to work on my plans for next about you? I'll post more information in a couple of days.


tiedyejudy said...

I'm not quite as organized as that, but got used to doing goals & accomplishments from years of working for a company that required them. It helps to review all the things I HAVE done, and to focus on things I would like to do going forward. I do lists for my personal and creative areas, and my timing is pretty much the same as yours. Makes life a little easier, doesn't it?

bronwen said...

I hope your list is in no particular order, as family is way down it... ;)

Ann said...

Thanks Susan. I'm really going to give it a try as I certainly didn't get much done in 2009 and am really frustrated.