Organization (or the lack thereof)

Iím a list maker. Always have been. If I donít write things down, my world ceases to function as it should. Not only do I neglect to do key tasks, but I waste far too much energy trying to remind myself what needs to be done. More energy, in fact, than would be required to actually complete said tasks.

And then there is the sleep lost while the mantra ďfail to plan, plan to failĒ spins dizzyingly in my head.

Lets just say itís not a pretty picture.

Iíve tried just about every method imaginable to keep myself organized and on track - from little notebooks, calendars, forms and to-do lists, to a remarkably complex system of color-coded post-it notes I developed over several months in a job I detested.

Iíve gone the electronic route as well, from using stock Microsoft Outlook applications to yet another overly complex system I developed at another job I detested. Or maybe it was the same one. I canít recall.

The Blackberry is not for me, I know, because Iíve already given one of its predecessors - the Palm V - a try. Sure it was handy for entering in my list of to-doís, but I rarely got any of it done, distracted as I was by my favorite application, Drug Wars.

Nothing ever worked consistently for me until I discovered the Franklin Covey planner system. As I gazed lovingly at its prioritized daily task list, handy scheduler, ample note taking space and plenty of calendars for future planning, I knew that here, finally, was the answer to my organizational prayers.

Iíve been a faithful user ever since.

But no matter how efficient your system of organization, it is only as good as the information you put into it. Forget to jot down an appointment or one of those key tasks, and its all for naught. Ditto if you are remiss in carrying forward an unfinished item.

So, for example, if you neglect to make note of the fact that you need to order the refill for your planning page system well enough in advance of the end of the calendar year, the odds are youíll end up panicking on January 1.

Well, actually, I didnít really start panicking until January 4, which was when I returned to the office after the holiday. Only to find that the planning pages Iíd ordered in the final hours of 2009 hadnít yet arrived.

The timing couldnít have been more unfortunate, really, what with the specter of Progress upon us.

Iíve done a remarkable job holding it all together these last few days, I think. Even if it is taking a total of three calendars (wall, desk and pocket), a weekly planning sheet I whipped up on the computer, a yellow legal pad, a selection of highlighters and, of course, a generous supply of sticky notes.

Just be thankful I havenít resorted to tying little bits of string around my fingers. With so many meetings, interviews to juggle this week, the odds are Iíd have to borrow a few of my co-workersí fingers, too.

The transition hasnít been exactly smooth. Life screeched to a halt for a few moments when I temporarily misplaced the pocket calendar on which I have come so heavily to rely. Iím happy to say that, once I was able to locate the slippery little sucker, all was again right with the world. And my heart rate.

Itís a little bit exhausting, Iíll admit. But better than the alternative, which would be to do absolutely nothing but wait for mail call. And cry.

Oh, how I wish Iíd sprung for expedited shipping.

Iíve already decided that the first thing Iíll do when my planner does arrive (after I weep with relief, that is) is add an entry in, say, mid-October to remind myself to reorder in a timely fashion next year.

Iíve already made note of my intention to do so on all three of the calendars Iím currently employing. Not to mention a sticky note or two.

Follow me on Twitter ... @evesunmelissa

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