I love planning.
I got my first Franklin Day Planner in 1988. I was 10 years old. It was not my parents' choice, rather something I begged them for all year. I'm pretty sure they made me wait until my age was in the double digits before they'd let me have one.
These planners were new to the market and expensive. It would be like giving a 10-year-old a Blackberry these days (which I’m pretty sure does happen). It was a bit crazy and only perpetuated the craziness inside me. I spent all day with my Christmas gift and the following weeks writing down every little detail in my planner.
Play with Barbies.
This continued well into my adult years.
I recently dusted off a planner from 2005, the first time I have referred to the archives that fill my office. I pulled out my planner (the last hard copy I owned before switching to Apple's iCal), and it reads:
Three days in a row. I kept using Franklin Covey’s arrow method to push that cleaning off. Clean house was the only thing on my to-do list for the day. How could it have really been that hard for me to do? And really take me three days to do if it truly was the only thing I needed to do?
About the same time I stopped using my trusty planner, we moved into a new neighborhood, and I made a new friend. This friend of mine was on top of things all the time. I could go to her house at 7 a.m., and she was dressed, ready for the day and with a toilet brush in her hand busy cleaning the bathrooms. While I was talking to her, she would have to excuse herself to retrieve homemade cinnamon rolls from the oven.
I was baffled. I spent months picking her brain. How do you do it? How are you so productive?
Her answer, “I don’t know. I just do it!”
That didn’t sit well with a professional organizer, which I was at the time. No way. I didn’t believe her. She must have some system, method or tool she was using to help her be so productive.
I made it my mission to find out her secret, popping over occasionally in the early morning or late evening hours. It was the same scenario every time.
I quizzed her about her planning tools. None.
After months of being baffled by her, I finally realized that maybe she was telling the truth.
I decided to try her method. Just do it. I couldn’t write anything down. I couldn’t plan for weeks what I would be doing that day. I was just going to do it.
I was frightened. After years of planning everything I would do, I wasn’t sure this was possible, but I tried my friend’s method.Comment on this story
Nike’s slogan became my new mantra. Instead of procrastinating, I repeated this over and over in my head all day. Shockingly, it worked! I was determined to just do it.
I found myself touching up paint, installing memory on my computer and taking dinner to a neighbor. These were tasks I would normally put off for another day. I realized that my obsession with planning had actually turned me into a master procrastinator.
The "just do it" method was exactly what I needed. No planning. No stalling. No procrastinating. No lists. Just done!
This year as I’m setting goals and planning the upcoming year, my only resolution will be: Just do it!
Brittany Jones lives in Herriman, Utah, with her husband and three boys. On her blog, brittsbroadcast.blogspot.com, she enjoys sharing ideas about family life, organizing and decorating.