It’s taken me until this many years old to understand my brain enough to keep it focused on things it needs to do. In this time I’ve gone through countless planner systems, from hand-held Filofax style books in the 90s to Google Calendar to several writer-specific planner systems I’ve trialed in the last few years.
Setting up any such system (let’s not dance around it) fucking sucks. I’ve abandoned enough of them to have some perspective.
What falls apart for me is the transition from Planned to Achieved. Which is a fancy way to say that just because I put an event in my planner doesn’t mean I am going to follow through. I have shunted certain tasks down the line for months. Years, even. There’s no accountability if I don’t do a thing, other than I screw up my own plans. I can pass a buck indefinitely. This is a very dysfunctional situation, and I hope I’ve figured out how to amend it.
I have two planners now. Both of them paper. Emails? Notifications? I can ignore those for months. So it’s got to be paper. One book is for planning. The other book is for WRITING DOWN WHAT I ACTUALLY DID. Caps for my own need, because I am the kind of smart that needs this level of reinforcement.
The thing with having only one planner is that every time I don’t complete a vital task, I need to shove it down the line. For those who don’t have my particular form of high-twitch ADHD and are therefore good at //doing what they set out to do// lemme just say that this is not a sustainable system. I spend more time rearranging my schedule than I would spend just doing the dang work.
But like I said, I’m the dumb kind of smart. It’s taken me until now to figure this out.
Now I have two planners. One that records what I intend to do, and the other that records what I actually achieve. To-do lists aren’t enough for me. I need to keep track of my Didn’t Do’s, so I can make sure they become Done.