Thursday, September 2, 2010
Chic Habits: Using a Diary/Planner
When I used to work as an office administrator I had my work planner, and I had my own personal A5-size diary, quite slim-line which I used to carry everywhere with me. It organised my life. My personal diary had a week-to-an-opening so I could see the entire week at a glance.
I wrote in everything:
- personal expenditure to track my budget.
- recurring appointments like the doctor or leg-waxing (the thrifty me now shaves my legs).
- birthdays: at the beginning of a new year I went through my diary and wrote in every birthday for family and close friends. That way I never forgot a birthday or was surprised and at the last minute had to rush out and find a gift.
- Personal care I wanted to do regularly, so for example I made a note when six weeks was to book a haircut or 13 weeks to have my highlights redone. I also had a note twice a week to exfoliate and apply a mask after dinner.
- Errands I wanted to run on a certain day.
- Plans for a day off.
- I noted things after the fact too - when my fridge was serviced in case there was further problems, and also when I met my husband - I wouldn't have remembered the exact date otherwise and I like knowing those sorts of things.
- Due dates of bill payments.
- Exercise planned.
You get the drift. Just like a list, it was satisfying to tick off items actioned. If they weren't I could shift them to the next day if it was appropriate.
When I left this job and started working with my husband in our own small retail business, I stopped using a diary. I relied on a big wall-planner at work and little notes for myself. I thought it seemed pointless copying down appointments we had on our wall-planner into my diary. More than five years later I am wondering why I'm not as organised as I used to be.
So I've decided to go back to what I know works for me. September isn't the best time to buy a diary so I have ruled up some pages in an exercise book to tide me over until the end of the year and get back into the habit of tracking myself with a diary.
Instead of feeling restricted, using a diary so much is actually very freeing. Once it is written down I am released from remembering it and it is there waiting for me when I open the page to that week.
I will be out hunting for a new 2011 diary as soon as they become available. I will get the same style that has always been useful to me - not too big because then I won't slip it into my bag to take home or to work, and not too small as to be useless.
I really think good organisation is a key to being chic. How can you feel serene and in control if you're late paying a bill or you've forgotten your brother's birthday?