Grand plans for organization

I always seem to have these grand plans on how I’m going to organize my life now. I’ll use this to-do method over that one. And that some things are better off on calendars instead. That I’ll learn to insert more activity by following these simple rules and on and on.

And yet, there are only a few of them that actually last. My to-do notebooks has been mostly working, although the last few weeks haven’t been so great. But, it’s not to the point where I’m giving up, yet. I still use my calendar to track meetings and appointments, and it’s been great for that. However, it no longer seems to provide the motivation it use to when it comes to pre-scheduling exercise.

Some days using the pomodoro technique works really well. Other days not at all. Some days watching how quickly my RescueTime productivity total time moves towards my 4 hour goal (and well past) is motivation enough to keep working, and other days I could care less. Sometimes having a heavy schedule is motivating in that I only have limited time to work, and other times it feels like none of the spots are big enough to actually work and so I take them off instead.

Really, at the end of the day, what (currently) works for me is very hard to predict. I can wake up in the morning with tons of motivation and have nothing done 8 hours later. Or wake up with none and yet get sucked into my project.

All of this means that it’s really really really hard to plan. And, that planning isn’t all that useful. Except, that I know I need to get better at my follow through on plans. Because I can’t continue to just work as it comes and stop when it goes. I need methods or techniques or magic to help me keep working when not motivated or stuck or whatever. And I need something to keep me from getting to the point where I need a day or two completely off in order to recover and get back on track.

So far this week the motivation isn’t kicking in full force – even though my deadline is steadily getting much closer (tomorrow – yikes!). I have managed to get some work done, and cross off some of the tasks on my to-do list. But, I’ve also added other tasks, so it really hasn’t shrunk much. Programming always seems to be one step forward followed immediately by realizing that I broke some other part of the code and so I’m now a 1/2 step back. It’s still generally forward progress, but just very very slow.

On top of all this, my computer has decided to start flicking again this week. It was going like crazy Monday night, but after a restart it seems to have been mostly good. I say mostly, because I think it’s flickered a couple more times, but only once, and so harder to catch and confirm. 😦 It’s been over six weeks since it initially acted up, so I was really hoping everything was okay now. But, I’m starting to think Christmas break will be partially spent breaking in a new laptop. I should probably be partly happy about this, but I’m not. I’m really not looking forward to having to do all the set up again.

Anyway, the only ‘plan’ I have now, is to continue to use my myriad of techniques to try to keep me focused and on task. And to expect setbacks and turn arounds and try to be as flexible as I can. When I come across a new method I think will work, I’ll try it out, just like the ones before it. Who knows when/if I’ll finally come across the “right” method for me. Or if I’ve already really found what works best, even if it doesn’t seem ideal.

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