What we need around here are some spreadsheets

It’s been 157 days since I launched into my “achieve every goal you have every imagined” year. There’s 209 days left until I will once again be facing a cake adorned with candles and lamenting the passing of my life.

It’s becoming increasingly evident that organisation is the key skill I am lacking when it comes to achieving my desires.

I get obsessed on one thing to the detriment of, well everything else in my life. Blog’s going well, housework, obligations with children, fitness campaign, decluttering, well that’s pretty well gone to hell in a handbasket. I get distracted – working on the first chapter of my absolutely sensational book, just as soon as I wander through Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram. I lose focus – I have goals, I wrote them down, I broadcast them to the world-wide web, I set aside time to meet them, then somebody suggests lunch at that new café in town and off I go.

In the meantime we lurch from one crisis to the next because I just don’t quite manage to get everything sorted before I sit down to meet my goals. I ask for the winter school uniforms to be brought out so I can wash them in time for the start of the new school term. Forget to actually check what I was washing and we don’t realise until the first day of school that we haven’t done the sports socks. An archeological dig to the bottom of the laundry hampers unearths them and the mad panic begins. We miss the school bus, have to stop at the ATM to get lunch money because I haven’t packed the lunch, then realise child didn’t eat breakfast so arrive at bakery to get a muffin, at the same time staff have to remove the pies from the oven, we wait patiently as the morning ebbs away.

It is obvious it’s one thing to have goals, it’s completely another to actually achieve them.

In my wasted hours on Twitter I discover an article How to Write a Novel When You Are Really, Really Busy I am shocked to discover this woman has a spreadsheet. In her spreadsheet she targets her word counts for each day. It is clear writing any sort of book will involve ditching any notion of meandering my way through the creative process to arrive at the finished product. SPREADSHEETS I thought only accountants used them!

So I’ve decided my life needs spreadsheets, and a to do list. I sat down yesterday and wrote down every single activity I need to do – and then I had a stiff drink. Seriously people – I used to be a list person, but now I see I stopped doing my lists when it became obvious there was no hope of ever getting to the end of one. When you see everything you do each day, coupled with everything you want to achieve laid out on paper the desire to give up before you start is overwhelming.

However, I will persist. I will make a spreadsheet. Dividing the remaining 209 days into tiny squares with activities assigned for each day. I’m not beaten yet.

11 thoughts on “What we need around here are some spreadsheets

  1. Women with children…same story…different family. I’ve been around your block a time, or two, myself. It’s a good thing that women can do twice as much in half the time as men (or so I’ve been told), or we’d never get it all done, would we?

  2. My spreadsheet would look like this: check booze supply, calculate number of hours kids will be at home this week, re-calculate in minutes, check bank account, calculate the maximum number of drinks available before pay day, calculate minimum number of drinks needed to make it to pay day, calculate if I can sell enough blood to obtain the needed alcohol to make it to pay day, repeat.

  3. I’m thinking I need something to organise me too. I think if I actually got into twitter then I’d be much worse off than I currently am. Thank goodness I only play Cityville and Words with Friends!
    Good luck to both of us.

  4. I am spectacular at setting goals. Horrible at the follow through. I have three finished (unpublished) novels under my belt. Don’t get excited; they’re nothing fancy. I followed a system that I can’t find any longer. It was sold to my mom in a workshop and the guy ended up being considered a sham. BUT. The system worked for me. It was the system part. You start with a contract with yourself, move onto writing notecards and here the rest gets fuzzy (it was a long time go) because I think I abandoned the system (!) and just kept writing. However, word counts and patterns were key. Go figure.

    And who said it isn’t wasting time if you’re having fun?

  5. I make spreadsheets for almost everything. I use spreadsheets when party planning, when assigning tasks, when keeping track of progress, etc, etc. I think my favorite part is color coding them….

    The real trick is going tback to look at them after you make them…

  6. whilst i have certainly used spreadsheets to good effect (organising Christmas lists for cards, gifts and lunch was one), my problem then becomes the spreadsheet. being a graphic designer by trade it doesn’t work for me unless it looks nicely designed, colour coded, the right typefaces … creating the perfect spreadsheet becomes my new procrastination! i AM the procrastination queen.

    these days i have a weekly To Do pad from a Silly Expensive stationery store (beautifully designed, you see) and i scribe my lists onto that, the major benefit being i can rip off the sheet at the end of the week and simply transcribe the Still To Dos!

    and after forking out $15 for my precious system, i have since found that Aldi do a knock off for about a quarter of the price. xt

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