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When Your Plate Overflows And Lands On the Floor

busy calendar

A few days ago I updated my planner with my daughters activities for the 2015-2016 school year. Girls Scouts for both, dancing school for the performer and art class for the uber creative. Then I added all the days their school will be closed (30+ days…Are you kidding me?). And then I added all the out-of-town conferences I need to attend (I’m sooooo thankful for my husband and mom). Am I done? Heck no. I still have at least 50 other things to add. Back in the glory days when I was single, I would order my refill pages for cute little organizer to prepare for the following year. I had a few dates to fill in, mainly birthdays and travel plans. It was so cute. It fit in my purse. Fast forward 17 years later…married with two kids, one neurotic little dog and multiple responsibilities outside of work and home and I have graduated to custom-made 19-month calendar that and goes to December 2016 (for now). My planner now resembles a 5-subject notebook and it requires a tote bag. There are color-coded tabs and color-coded entries on both my monthly and weekly pages. I know some of you are saying that I’m “Team Too Much” and I should just use the calendar on my phone. I’m ignoring you and assuming you only have you and a plant to worry about. For the record, I have hybrid system (paper and electronic…thank you Google) and that’s color coded too.

Listen, when you get to the point when you feel like your plate is on the verge of overflowing it is time to stop, reassess, and organize. I’m a little OCD about planning so that when the unexpected happens (and it will), I’m not thrown completely off course. I plan so that I can communicate with my family and keep them informed. I plan because…well because if you don’t plan you are like a leaf during a windy fall day…all over the place with absolutely NO direction. While my life does not always go according to plan, I would much rather have a road map than be on my journey with a lost GPS signal.

Stop. Reassess. Organize.

With love,

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P.S. I created my custom notebook and planner using M by Staples™ Arc Customizable Notebook System. If you haven’t been able to find a planner that works for you, I highly recommend this system to create your own.

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Willpower vs A Plan

I’ve been telling myself for years that if I just had some willpower I would be able to lose weight and keep it off. I think willpower is an overrated myth. It doesn’t exist. You can have all the willpower in the world but if you don’t work towards the goal you have in mind, then it’s just a wish. Willpower is not going to help me lost weight. A clear plan and determination to put my needs before taking care of everyone else will. I don’t claim to be an expert on weight loss but I know what works for me because I’ve done it before. I also know that when I allow people to take up valuable real estate on my schedule and in my thoughts…Ayanna gets pushed further to the side. Willpower will not finish the book I’ve started or start the book I need to write. Scheduling time to write will. Setting incremental goals will.

When I decided to take the certification exam for Certified Administrative Professional with an Organizational Management specialty (CAP-OM) administered by the International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP), it wasn’t willpower that helped me pass the exam with flying colors. It was a plan to study a certain amount of chapters, for a defined length of time on particular days. I followed that plan for five months. The end result was receiving a professional certification that shows my employer and my peers that I’m serious about my profession.

Willpower without a plan, in my opinion, leads to disappointment. A plan supported by willpower equals success. Same ingredients added in a different order yields different results.