Masterplan for managing my life: FAILED

Since I was a child, I’ve had to battle procrastination. My mind rejects the concept of time management. My greatest vice is the pursuit of instant gratification.

But, at the same time, I’ve also always felt a strong need to make every second of my life count by continually learning as much as humanly possible and improving every aspect of myself.

This cognitive dissonance totally screws up my sanity.

Early this year, I realised that acting jobs were going to be slow in coming, which meant that I was going to have many, many free days to spend however I liked. I knew that if I didn’t manage myself properly, I would end up parking myself in front of the computer 10 hours a day surfing the net aimlessly or playing WoW.

So I came up with a masterplan.

To motivate myself, I bought a nice notebook to make lists in. (I love pretty notebooks and making lists.)

I marked out several categories of “tasks” in my notebook. Under each category is a long list of relevant task items. For example:

Urgent Tasks
– reply john’s email
– pay credit card bill

Not So Urgent Tasks
– do nails
– call susan about collecting DVD

Daily Work
– blog
– work on new project

Self-Improvement
– read an acting book
– practice singing
– rehearse a monologue

Fun Activities
– play WoW
– watch an anime
– read a novel

Exercise
– go jogging
– work out at home

(The above is just a sample. Every category consists of many more items, of course.)

The idea was to make sure I balanced my activities so I wouldn’t neglect anything I felt was important for my personal growth and well-being.

So my plan was that, each day, I would first tackle urgent tasks, then spend my day fulfilling time quotas on each category:

– 5 hours for work
– 3 hours for self-improvement
– 3 hours for fun
– 1 hour for exercise

I would mix and match. Do some work first, then have some fun, then do some more work. However I did it, I would perform one or two tasks from each category, rotating daily so that every task will have received some attention by the end of the week.

I thought this idea was really cool when I first devised it. And I had a lot of fun making the lists. I couldn’t wait for the next day to come. I wanted to start on my plan already.

And then the next day came and the first thing I did was write a blog.

I posted my blog and then I got distracted by all the evil internetly distractions. Started surfing around aimlessly. I told myself I’d do it for just awhile. But awhile turned to six hours and then there wasn’t any more time in the day to do anything else.

This repeated itself the entire week.

I did manage to tick off some urgent tasks (but that category fills up at about the same rate as items get ticked off) and I blogged daily.

But that was all. I didn’t do anything else! Not even the fun stuff I knew I would enjoy doing! I usually even enjoy doing self-improvement activities, so I really had no reason to proscrastinte on those!

Whoever procrastinates having fun??!

So my masterplan was a total failure. Not a single day was spent as planned and my notebook rotted in a corner of my table, and I tried to pretend that it never existed. I turned into a slug.

And then my friend rang me up about doing that day job, so I gave up my brilliant masterplan and accepted the job offer.

I am so ashamed of myself!

But I’m giving myself a chance to redeem myself. The projects in my day job has dried up for now and there looks to be no work in March, which means I can attempt to carry out my masterplan once again.

I’m so excited about it.

I think I’m usually more excitable in the planning stage than in the execution stage. Which is the whole trouble.

But I just gotta force myself to do it no matter what.

Life is so crazy and there are so many things to do. I can never understand people who complain about being bored. There are so many things to do in life and not enough time as it is.

Wish me luck!

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16 thoughts on “Masterplan for managing my life: FAILED

  1. I tell you, lists don’t work… They just make things look somewhat “complicated”. Just go with the flow (of course, with a little self-discipline). ;D

  2. Just have one list. Really. Or two the most. The things you “die die have to do”, and the ones that are like, “will do someday”.

    And keep to it. Only put die die have to do things in that list, and all the rest in the someday list.

    Then attack your list(s)! Focus on attacking, just like in your computer games (I don’t really know, I don’t play). Just attack, hit hit hit off one by one until you clear your lists.

  3. Too many categories and too many items in each category?

    Like what kate said maybe try reducing it all to two categories 1) REALLY Urgent Tasks and 2) Everything Else According To My Whim & Fancy.

    So each day make sure you take care of 1) first and let the chaos in 2) sort itself out – without you feeling guilty over it.

  4. Here is my schedule

    – 10 to 12 hours for work
    – 10 to 12 hours for self-improvement
    – 10 to 12 hours for fun
    – 10 to 12 hours for exercise.

    I enjoy what I do
    I always learn from doing
    I have fun while doing it
    I exercise the mind body and soul while doing it.

    I have no needs for lists. I just wake up.

  5. Unless of course I have other things to do. Then I need lists. The One bad thing about getting into a routine is when something new comes along, you tend to forget EVERYTHING.

  6. modchip: Lists might or might not work, but they’re quite necessary if I want to get anything done because I am a short memory and I forget stuff if I don’t write them down. :P

    A Suspicious Man: Heh, all the best to you too.

    kate/Miss Loi: Haha, I think the problem is “focusing on attacking”. I usually do make To-Do lists and I only have one list. But I always look through the list and go, “Ok, pass this first, what’s next… ok pass this first, what’s next… ok pass this first what’s next…” Like everything on the list is torture to do and I don’t really want to do any of it, so I toss the list aside and do something else. :P

    That’s why I made other lists of fun things, which I thought might motivate me to get into the habit of doing things on my list. lol.

    Numby: Eh, I don’t play WoW anymore. I’m playing Pirate of the Burning Sea. :P

    modchip: Ok!

    Mike M: How do you fit 40 hours into a day? lol. The reason I need lists, like I told modchip, is because I forget. You know, like before I go grocery shopping, I can think of the 10 or 15 things I need to buy. Then the moment I’m in the store, I can’t remember anything. My mind is a naughty child. I can only remember things when I can’t do them… like when I’m in the shower or in bed. But when I’m free to tackle things, I forget what I have to do, then I’ll just go play games. Haha.

    Derrick: How would a PDA help?

  7. Task for March :

    – Attend all lectures
    – Study for 2 audit tests
    – Complete 4 school projects
    – Try to study acct theory and tax
    – Work hard

    Super busy but will aim to accomplish them!

    Let’s do our best to complete our task! Gambattee!!!!!!

  8. at least u have thot & written down what u intended to do.
    many ppl only thot abt what to do but will forget abt it later on.
    u hav gotten the 1st step correct.

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