I wasn’t always a planner. In fact, I was a pretty bad procrastinator. My mom can attest to this. There were many a night she stayed up with me until the wee hours of the morning finishing science fair projects.
I wasn’t any better in college. It wasn’t until my senior year that I had any semblance of plan. And I didn’t really develop my planning ahead style until my job at the law firm. It was there that I learned how to think ahead when it came to balancing paperwork and client interviews. Plus, I learned the power of a good planner.
This past year I was introduced to another tool at my new job. It’s called an excel manager. Since we do a lot of the same training labs for different churches, a lot of the prep work can be standardized. Basically, we put in the date of the lab, and the excel formulates all the due dates for things that need to get done. For example, all the workbooks need to be printed the week before, and the logistics email needs to go out to the participants a few weeks before that.
So, at the end of last year, I decided I would try to incorporate this technique into some of the different aspects of my life. One of those ways was holiday gift giving. I actually used this tool for Thanksgiving and Christmas last year and it worked great. I also used it for Valentine’s Day this year.
Basically, there were certain things that need to happen when I exchange gifts, so I listed those in the excel program.
Then, I put deadline formulas into each one. For example, I want to have wrapped or mailed the present a week in advance.
Then I take these dates and put them in my google calendar. In this case, these serve as reminders, but in other projects, if it’s not reasonable to be able to accomplish a particular task on a particular deadline, then I will adjust it by a week or a few days. This is probably the best part of this type of planning. It gives me a chance to think ahead and take my inherent procrastination into account.
I use this type of manager for other aspects in my life as well, and I will share those with you in another post. It’s so funny to me that I’m such a planner nerd now compared to how I used to be, but, to me, this is really fun!
Do you have a process for planning things in your life? I would love to learn new ways of doing things!