The Best Laid Plans

As we saunter into the fresh pastures of 2018, I permit myself to hope for a jolly good picnic of a year. I certainly have all the accoutrements of it.

If it is true that planning is everything, to wit, to woo, absolutely everything is sorted and I haven’t a thing to worry about. I have procured a Michael Hyatt Full Focus Planner. Also known as an FFP.  A what?

Is that the full-priced version of the SDP, the Somewhat Distracted Planner?” my friends dryly enquired at our annual twixt-Christmas and New Year lunch.  Arched eyebrows were my reply.

If you have ever made a new year’s resolution only to fully forget your commitment about ten minutes later, it was more than likely that you didn’t write it down. If you did write down your forgotten resolution somewhere, it is further explicit that you failed to read it. Or more specifically, didn’t read it on a regular enough basis to have any impact. The full focus notion is appallingly simple. Write down what you want, and keep that bit of writing intrusively in your face on a daily basis.

For weeks now, I have been obsessing over this. My Full Focus Planner, a stout, rigid and manly tome arrived all the way from the USA.  Within its lacklustre grey covers lies a series of equally matter-of-fact tasks asking me to list annual goals, list quarterly achievement and habit goals, identify my “Ideal Week”, not to mention creating my desired morning rituals, pre-work rituals, work ending rituals and evening rituals.  All this before even beginning the business of getting anything whatsoever done or even listing the things that should be done in order to get the desired things achieved. There are weekly goals, daily goals, hourly goals, check offs, day reviews, weekly reviews, quarterly and schedule sheets….it’s enormous and delicious and surprisingly comforting to do.

The most significant thing about this book and system of planning is that everything I schedule in even on the hourly planning section has a direct and highly visible line back to my annual goals. High visibility. And that’s the difference.

The FFP is very intense. Today is my first real day of using it, and I have to admit, if nothing else, it has made me conscious of working toward a stated desire. And made me aware of doing not thinking of doing. Subtle difference there. But nevertheless, a difference I often miss entirely. I even scheduled the writing for this blog post. But not just because I wanted to but because it has a direct impact on my working life and my overall annual goal of online visibility. Everything from morning walk (6am dog walk, check!) to read more books (Oh yes! Sagaland by Richard Fidler Kari Gislason, and heaps more besides!)

And I also worked with a new app today that almost set me batty with its merry little chimes but I have to admit it was useful in the long run. The app is called Be Focused. It is a free time management app for Mac that sits on my desktop and yells at me at appropriate intervals, and at startling levels of alarm, informing me how far into a given block of work I am. It also tells me to get up and take a break (something I rarely do meaningfully, rather it is more like me to work until I’m tired or get distracted by another task and just wander off ).

Overall I feel like I managed the day well. My first working day of the year. So I have every reason to be positive. Planning is everything, right?

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