I like to think that I do everything with a purpose. At the end of each day, I take out my planner and I cross off each thing that I accomplished. I then move on to the next day's block and transfer anything that still needs to be completed. Of course, I then add all of the new things I will need to tackle the following day. I check for my upcoming meetings and make note of the times in the margins. I also do all of this in a physical planner with color coordinated pens. Now, as I sit here typing this, I understand the irony of someone who works in tech, ignoring all the incredible platforms out there that could help me do this - and sticking to what I call old faithful pen and pepper.
Now hear me out - I hate change.
Change is something that makes me utterly uncomfortable, and this routine has worked for me for years. I'll give you the reasoning you have either heard before or have even used yourself:
It would be a a total upheaval of my whole system, and I'd be trying to remake it with something that feels so less natural! My system works for me.
But... does it really?
We hear reasoning like this all the time across a variety of areas in our worlds. I transcends regardless of what aspect of our lives we may be talking about.
Oh, I go to the same coffee shop because they know me and my order, and even though the coffee always upsets my stomach after and I am spending a ludicrous amount of money on milk substitution, it is just easier at this point. This example? Also, me. Until I finally was shown a Nespresso machine. You get the water, you put the pod in, you get the coffee, you put it in reusable cup and you're out the door. You're actually now getting time back, and your stomach doesn't hate you for the rest of the day while you are perfectly caffeinated.
So you may be reading this and going " Okay Bianca, so you changed your coffee routine, and gave us an example of change helping you. So why did you not change your planning routine?"
Here's the truth:
I did. Just in a much more subtle, but effective way.
When I first started writing out my days in a planner I would go back to my virtual calendar and see which meetings actually happened to see if any had an attached email or note to say that they were rescheduled. I would then scour my email, and block out both in my physical planner and google calendar multiple times that had be suggested for possible meetings the next day.
All of that time to just trying to make sure the intentions I set for the next day, even the ones with the slightest possibilities of being executed on, could be included. This is where I was losing time, and my anxiety around my day would rise. I did all this work to make sure that I was prepared, and still my calendar and my time were not my own.
I realized my original comfortable system wasn't helping me be purposeful with my time.
So I found a tool that didn't upheave my whole process, but with a minor altercation drastically improved my routine. I stopped hunting like Sherlock Holmes in my inbox for the back and forth correspondences and blocking my time in two places. I stopped really going to my calendar at all. At the end of the day I would hit the Undock chrome extension and was presented with all the meetings that were locked in for the next day - and even all of my proposed meetings. No double writing, no double booking, no overnight anxiety.
Change doesn't mean you are turning your processes upside down, change can be as simple as replacing one step for another.
Change shouldn't be measured by the form that it takes, it should be measured by the impact it makes.
Thanks to that lesson - me, my planner, and my Nespresso are as prepared as we can be for tomorrow.