There's an Old Dutch South African saying, "A Farmer Makes a Plan". It basically means there are lots of unexpected things in life, but having a plan helps...
2019 starts tomorrow, and I’m sorting out my plans for the year. Having a plan can make a big difference to my life; mostly because it helps me be more proactive and less reactive. The better prepared I am (the more proactive), the easier my life gets. Life is always throwing curve balls, but if I’ve got the basics sorted it seems not to put me off my stride as much. I’ve tried lots of different methods over the years. Here’s what I do now.
My planning system has four parts:
I think the best way is to have some prompts that make me think in a well rounded way about my life and where I want to be at the end of it. I envisage who I want to be in these areas:
This is where I review my year and my plan. I think about what went well, what did not, what I learned and would like more of or less of. I write it down so it’s more thoughtful and honest. I update my plan accordingly and diarise quarterly reviews for the year.
I use a 6 ring, 96mm x 172mm page, week to a glance dayrunner/ daytimer/ filofax loose leaf diary with an Oroton binder. Pictured above.
In November/December I buy the refill for the following year. Last week in December I replace the refill. I have a page at the back of this years diary headed 2019 (or next year). On this I have all the regular stuff I know I have to do each year and when (eg BAS, honey levies, super, lease renewal, tax) as well as anything that came up late in the year for the following year (eg order new 3kg labels, school camp payment deadlines, Jan orthodontist appointment).
So to the new diary I add:
I get a free 12 page calendar from the hardware store or pharmacy. The main thing about it is that it’s got a month to a page with a white box for each day with space to write stuff in. I highlight the school holidays when I’m doing the same to my diary.
This gets hung inside the pantry and it’s the calendar the family use for organising ourselves and not over committing. The things put on the calendar are off farm appointments, kids jobs that have to be done on a certain day and rainfall. If the box gets too full then that’s a clear sign life is getting too busy and we need to pull back.
Romy Surtees works with Glenn Pattinson at Elixir Honey, the rural Western Australian good honey business that helps to keep busy people healthy & energised.