Short-term Planning

Monday, September 12, 2011
Last post I said I’d be working on getting organized and needed to plan better for the next 4 months.  If I get ambitious, I can use 3 of these to plan an entire year, but for now, I have a lot coming up in January – so the next 4 months was enough for me.

I simply folded a piece of paper in fourths and wrote monthly headings in each.  Here’s a blank sheet for you to see what I’m talking about - you can download a copy for yourself:
4 month planning template by tamdoll.com 
In previous to-do lists, telling myself what to do each month wasn’t working.  If September said “Make ornaments” – that wasn’t really motivating me to do them.  Now, I’m going to use each space to write down what I wanted finished in that month.  For example, October now lists: “Halloween amigurumi”, and December has: “ornaments, 2 scarves”, etc.  This way, at any time, I can look ahead and see what I need to work on and how much time I have to complete it.  September is currently blank – since I have projects written in for the rest of the year I will focus on getting those accomplished.

Whew.  Was harder to put together this post than it was to get my list going.  I’ve never been great at planning ahead for my crafting/sale items – over the last few years with this blog and wanting to accomplish more – I’ve definitely improved.  Reading other folks organizational ideas, trying different things and learning what works best for me is a continual process.  It can only get better!

9/14 update!  I forgot something!  I have a desk calendar, too.  Without it I’d be in bad shape!! In my kitchen, I use it to keep track of my weekly schedule, kid’s activities, etc.  "Year of the What" – is the name of it… it’s super-sturdy, Sharpies® don’t bleed through pages, and there is tons of writing space.  Each week I’m able to use my above planning (that stays in my workspace) to schedule what I want to accomplish Monday through Friday, and by Sunday night I review what was done and plan accordingly for the coming week.  I won’t turn a page to the next week until I’ve reviewed what’s left on my daily “to-dos” – keeping me on track!  Yes, of course, there are things that get carried over week after week, but I get to them eventually…

8 comments:

  1. I find I progress better when I have a weekly target. Mine's the same idea as yours just week by week. Often I find myself slacking from Monday to Thursday and working like mad on Friday because I need to catch up.

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  2. Oh yes, I also have a weekly family calendar and I make sure to put daily to-dos on - little reminders what projects I should be working on. That one is in the kitchen for everyone to see and know when we're all busy. This is for the "big picture" and stays in my workroom, reminding me what's coming next.

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  3. Funny thing, Tammy, I have slowly moved to this sort of organizational list too - monthly list of what I want to accomplish or must get done because I have a blog post coming up!!

    And i am finding it is working quite well.

    I do have one little suggestions for you that I have found very helpful. Well - actually two.

    First, the word ornaments is so "out there in the void". Name your ornaments specifically. Name any project specifically. Sort of like saying i will loose two pounds this week instead of saying i want to loos weight.

    Secondly, lists are fantastic and as I said i use them now constantly. BUT I have found personally that i also need to take the step of actually scheduling time on my calendar. I have had "make yarnia angels" on my lists for months. Last week i scheduled the first angel crafty session for Sunday and guess what! i now have five beautiful angels waiting patiently for their wings! Progress!

    So great to see that you are experimenting and finding what works for you. I know you will find the almost perfect system for your needs - almost cause - those systems always need a tweak or two as life goes on.

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  4. Pam, you’re so right on all counts! You know what? My weekly calendar is such a part of me, like breathing, that I didn’t think of it as part of my planning. Each week I put on my daily schedule what I have to accomplish, and by Sunday night I review what was done and schedule ahead for the coming week. I should probably amend my post to mention that!

    And, I have ornament ideas scrawled on my list, just too embarrassed to mention what they are just yet. A couple are experiments – but I have them written down because I’ll need to make sure I have the supplies to complete them – guess a “to-do” list is also a checklists of sorts for many things: time management, stash inventory taking, shopping list...

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  5. hey there! I know it's been a while. So how 'bout a quarterly list of objectives?? I'm so behind.
    A monthly big picture planner seems like a good idea. I'll try to figure out the big dates of the upcoming months (ie birthdays, anniversaries, parties, holidays) to make my list realistic. Right now I use my chalk board wall to write ideas down, but I have no true goals regarding when to accomplish them.
    Divide (by month) and conquer!

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  6. Oh! "SECRET" ornaments!

    Great organizing, Tammy! No wonder you get so much done!

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  7. Thanks for the post on organization. I really need to find a system that works for me. I think I'll try the 4 month plan and see how that works out.

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  8. CraftyRichela - a chalk board is a great idea, but too easy for me to erase and pretend it wasn't there!

    Teresa - you will have to let me know how a new plan works out for you - I'm going to work hard to stick to my goals. I hope to report back in December with success!!

    And Pam, no "secrets!" I just don't want to be embarrassed!!

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