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Coffee Break with Liz and Kate » Headline, Liz's Rants » Liz’s rant: Planning to plan

Liz’s rant: Planning to plan

So I found myself in an office supply store, recently, looking for the perfect pages for my planner. Again. Because that’s what I do every year after Christmas.

Sometimes, I wonder why I put myself through it. Because, quite frankly, there is no perfect planner out there.

Oh, sure, I’m a big fan of Franklin Covey, but at the beginning of every year, no matter how many planners I look at, I still come away somehow unsatisfied.

I know I’m not alone, based on the number of customers in the store, in the same aisle, staring at the same planners, and reacting as I was:

Pick one up, look through it. Put it down, pick up another one.

And so it continued. Not only at one office supply store, but at every one I visited over the course of a week or so. I suspect I wasn’t the only one who left empty-handed. OK – so I watched everyone else, and know I wasn’t the only one.

I think the main problem with these yearly planners is that we secretly count on them to do much more than keep track of our appointments and to-do lists.

We tend to look at these planners as a cure-all.

We wonder which planner will make our lives better. Which one will actually improve our quality of life.

We wonder which one will represent total transformation – turning the unorganized into the organized, or the less-than-successful into the total successes.

We ponder what format serves us best – daily? weekly? monthly? Daily on one side with the month on the other side of the page? Weekly on one page (with great big squares for each day, so every second of the day can be planned) with another page of blank space for everything that didn’t fit into the little weekly square? Or maybe a giant notebook would work best, sans calendar or any form of dates, filled with grocery lists, store errands, hockey practice and Operation Athlete info?

I think it was at store 7, where I turned to look at one of the guys who’d been in that aisle before I arrived. I asked him his opinion:

“Why is this so difficult?” Nothing like a rhetorical question. Especially when the questionee drew a blank equal to that of the  questioner.

“I don’t know,” he’d said. “All I know is I have 15 minutes to make this decision, and wish I had all day.”

It occurred to me that perhaps I should employ his technique and put a time limit on my decision.

I came back to my senses in relatively short order, though. Because somewhere out there are planning pages with my name on them. And when I find them, this year, I may take things one step further and actually write on them.

-Liz

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