Don’t just live life as it comes; plan for it, embrace it.

Embracing Organization: My Journey from Chaos to Clarity

In the whirlwind of daily life, it's easy to fall into the trap of passivity, merely reacting to events as they unfold. This is a struggle I've faced personally. My calendar, filled with church events, work meetings, and various social commitments, often seemed like a series of checkboxes rather than meaningful engagements. I knew when and where these events would take place, and I was aware of my roles in them, yet I rarely prepared adequately. This lack of preparation bred a constant sense of unease. The thought of an upcoming event would hover in my mind, casting a shadow over my day-to-day activities, even when I was immersed in work.

The impact of this approach went beyond mere discomfort; it affected my productivity and increased my stress levels. Ideally, one's schedule should be compartmentalized: work hours, family time, leisure, and event preparation, each given its due attention. However, my days were muddled by the dread of upcoming events, leaving little room for focused and fulfilling engagement in any single task.

Recognizing the need for change, I have been exploring various organizational strategies. The concept of a Bullet Journal appealed to me, offering a personalized and creative approach to planning. However, the Bullet Journal lacks the digital ease of editing the calendar when changes come, a significant consideration in our fast-paced world. Additionally, I considered various calendar apps that promised flexibility and ease of use. A friend's demonstration of his time-blocked schedule in a digital planner particularly caught my attention, inspiring me to seek a similar solution that combines structure with adaptability.

The goal was not merely to organize my schedule but to liberate my mind from the constant mental tally of upcoming events. By entrusting these details to a reliable system, I hoped to alleviate the unnecessary stress that had become a staple of my life. This approach involved more than just marking dates and times; it was about allocating specific periods for preparation, ensuring that each commitment received the attention it deserved.

A pivotal moment in understanding the importance of preparation was a personal experience during a Thanksgiving event. Tasked with explaining my role in implementing an ERP system at a manufacturing company, I procrastinated until the last minute. The resulting presentation felt rushed and incomplete. In a desperate attempt to add substance, I shifted to a deeply personal topic: my family's kidnapping ordeal in Mexico. This impromptu change, driven by emotion and anxiety, resulted in a disjointed and confusing message to my audience. The experience underscored the risks of allowing emotion to overtake a well-laid plan and heightened my resolve to find a better way to manage my time and tasks.

Since that unsettling incident, the idea of better time management has been a constant pursuit. Despite trying out several digital apps and revisiting the Bullet Journal, finding a system that seamlessly integrates into my life remains a challenge. None of these tools have truly stuck, leaving me in a continuous search for the perfect method.

This ongoing quest for an effective organizational system is more than just about keeping track of appointments and responsibilities. I am seeking a method that will bring a profound sense of control and tranquility into my life. The right system, I believe, can transform the chaos of daily commitments into a harmonious and manageable flow.

In my pursuit, I have encountered a range of tools, each with its unique features. Digital apps, while convenient, often lacked the personalized touch I was looking for. On the other hand, the Bullet Journal offered a creative approach but fell short in terms of quick adaptability.

I realize that the journey to effective time management is a personal and evolving one. I am committed to continuing this exploration and am optimistic about discovering a method that aligns with my lifestyle and preferences.

To my readers, I promise to keep you updated on this journey. I plan to share insights about the different methods I try, including reviews of various apps and the pros and cons of the Bullet Journal system. Through sharing my experiences, I hope to not only find a system that works for me but also to provide guidance and ideas for those of you on similar quests for better life planning. Stay tuned for updates, tips, and perhaps even a few surprising discoveries along the way.

Remember to subscribe to my newsletter for updates on new blog posts. Together, let's journey towards a life that's not just endured, but actively and joyfully lived. Until next time, remember: don't just let life happen to you, plan for it and embrace it fully.

Randy Thiessen January 31, 2024
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